Data relating to overall hurricane size as it compares to damage, injuries, cost and loss of lives.

Devastating Hurricanes
Meteorologists measure the severity of hurricanes using the Saffir-Simpson scale. According to this scale, category 1 is the weakest hurricane and category 5 is the strongest. Actual hurricane damage in the U.S. is measured by loss of lives and damage to the environment and property.

The biggest loss of life from a hurricane in the US occurred in 1900, in Texas. A category 4 storm hit the city and flooded Galveston, causing 8,000 recorded deaths; although experts estimate that more than 12,000 people may have died. More recently, meteorologists have developed technology to offer better predictictions of the movements of hurricanes. As a result of increased technology and analysis, there are faster advisement times and trajectory potentials which offer a lowered percentage of lost lives. Each storm of increased size has also brought with it higher damage costs.

These are the most damaging hurricanes that have hit the US in modern times.

1. Hurricane Katrina

Certainly the most devastating of hurricanes in American recent history. It occurred in August, 2005 and it killed nearly 2000 people and caused damage estimated at 200 billion dollars. It was recorded as a hurricane category five and listed as one of the top five hurricanes to hit the U.S. coast in history.
2. Hurricane Andrew

A category five storm that nearly blew South Florida away in 1992. Gusts reached an incredible 170 miles per hour, and the storm caused approximately 30 billion dollars in damage.

3. Hurricane Wilma

Another monster storm from 2005. Largely lowered in priority due to Katrina, Wilma wreaked havoc on Cape Romano, Florida, killing 31 people and causing $21.5 billion in damage.

4. Hurricane Rita

Yet another storm from the infamous 2005. It hit the US coast just a few weeks after Hurricane Katrina, causing the death of over 150 people, as well as 6 billion dollars worth of damage.

5. Hurricane Camille

Out of all the destructive hurricanes to have hit the US, this is one of the worst. A force 5 storm, it hit Mississippi in 1969. Wind speeds reached 180 mph. More than 250 people were killed and damage of 1.5 billions dollars.

6. Hurricane Donna

In 1960 Hurricane Donna plowed into the Florida Keys, and then continued on to Fort Myers before landing in North Carolina. It went all the way up to New England before losing strength. More than 364 people were killed in the storm as well as $900 million in damage.

7. Hurricane Charley

Another whopper whirlwind, which Florida took the brunt of once again. Hurricane Charley occurred in 2004, landing in Charlotte Harbor, Florida. Charley had 150 mile an hour winds, killed 35 people, and caused 14 billion dollars in damage. This one really surprised weather forecasters, as it moved in an such unpredictable way.

8. Hurricane Hugo

While only a Category 4, Hurricane Hugo killed 34 people and caused over 100,00 to be homeless. This was one of the more destructive hurricanes the US has ever suffered through. It caused 7 billion dollars (1989 prices) worth of damage. Landing in South Carolina it took many years to rebuilt.

9. Hurricane Celia

In 1970 hurricane Celia hit Texas, and did no less than 450 billion dollars worth of damage. 11 people were killed, more than 9,000 homes were completely destroyed, and tens of thousands of buildings suffering from extensive damage.

10. Hurricane Eloise

In 1975 Hurricane Eloise landed in the panhandle of Florida. Listed as a Category 5, 21 people died and more than 1 billion dollars of damage was done. Wind speeds reached a frightening 160 miles per hour.

For the original article, click here

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24 Responses to “Top 10 Most Devastating Hurricanes in American History – updated article with additional information”

  1. 1
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  3. 3
    jim Says:

    I know of many people who have disregarded orders to evacuate. Its almost like they know better than experts. If i lived in a coastal or low-lying area, that is in an area that floods frequently, i would get out if i knew a big hurricane was about to hit.

  4. 4
    jon Says:

    Many people in hurricane zones do not take obvious steps.
    The advice is to:
    Develop a Family Plan
    Create a Disaster Supply Kit
    Have a Place to Go
    Secure your Home

    The problem is that too many people do not think about these things. More personal responsibility is needed.

  5. 5
    jake Says:

    Remember that people though they were more protected than they were. The flood protection system falied miserably. Experts agree that is it had been built properly then the residents of the city would have been much better protected. Since the disaster, a lot of money has gone into research, to prevent a repeat in the future.

  6. 6
    mike Says:

    Its ridiculous that in this modern society, with all the warming systems that are in place, that so many people still killed. Could it be partly due to the response of people on living there? Im sure they knew what was coming, but they did not take the appropiate measures to protect themselves

  7. 7
    jason Says:

    Katrina probably would have been the most devastaing hurricane in US history is it had happened in the early 1900’s – when there were no emergency procedures as such and no way to warn people of what is coming.

  8. 8
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  18. 18
    Jennie Says:

    Why are the 1900 Galveston Hurricane and the Okeechobee Hurricane of 1928 not listed? You need to do better research. The 1900 Galveston Hurricane is the worst natural disaster in American History.

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  21. 21
    Elden Schuelke Says:

    It is very interesting article and quite impressive too.I like the way you describe all the things and the examples.Thanks …

  22. 22
    Justin Says:

    tough to compare disaster with old ones. I think its fair to only compare Hurricanes with in a 20 year period. In 20years a deadlier Hurricane could be coming yet maybe our technology will save us and only 100 die! We can’t compare with technology of today to 1928. If they had the same technology in 1928 im sure that figure would be a quater. Road networks are better, health, quicker response by rescue teams and increased protection has saved lives in Katrina’s argument. Take that away im sure we would be see Katrina’s death toll near 10000+

  23. 23
    Alle Says:

    The Hurricane of 1928 ranks after Galveston and it isn’t on the list either! Katrina has some 1,000 people die and the 1928 storm has an estimated death count of anywhere from 3,000-5,000.

  24. 24
    Candace Says:

    Katrina was NOT the most devastating hurricanes in American history. You need to check your facts. September 8, 1900 Galveston, Texas was not only the most devastating hurricane in America, but it was and is still America’s deadliest natural disaster ever.

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