Hurricanes have been a prevalent part of the history of this country. Every year, hurricanes blow through and cause damage. Depending on the hurricane, the damage could be astronomical, or actually fairly mild (all things considered). While we’re in the middle of hurricane season, we thought it would only be natural to discuss some of the worst hurricanes to reach the U.S. mainland. Without further ado, here are the top 5 hurricanes to reach our shores.
- Hurricane Camille (1969)
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Beached ships in Mississippi from Hurricane Camille[/caption]
Starting things off at number five is Camille
, the hurricane that blasted Mississippi’s gulf coast in August, 1969. According to The Weather Channel
, Hurricane Camille created a record-breaking storm surge of 24 feet in Mississippi. This record was only broken by Hurricane Katrina.
Flash flooding in Virginia killed 113 people, and the storm itself killed over 140 people as it made landfall. Hurricane Camille’s wind speeds have never been known, due to the instrument that measures wind speed being destroyed by the storm. However, there are estimations that wind speeds reached
175 miles per hour. Hurricane Camille caused $1.42 billion in damages.
- Hurricane Andrew (1992)
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Damages from Hurricane Andrew[/caption]
As far as size goes, Hurricane Andrew
wasn’t very large. But, as the wise and wizened Jedi Master Yoda taught, “Size matters not.” With wind speeds reaching a sustained velocity
of 175 miles per hour, Hurricane Andrew showed us that a hurricane should not be judged on size alone.
This category 5 hurricane destroyed around 127,000 homes, marking its landfall with a price tag of $26.5 billion in damages. No previous hurricane – or other natural disaster, for that matter – had cost so much.
The Storm That Must Not Be Named
- The 1926 Miami Hurricane
crashed its way over Miami on September 18, 1926. Unfortunately, people weren’t as savvy in the ways of hurricanes back then, and as the eye of the hurricane passed over parts of Miami and Coconut Grove, people thought the storm was over. Just over a half an hour later, the eye passed and the hurricane picked back up while people were still outside.
Around 150 people died due to flood waters, and over 370 died from the storm. The damages are thought to come out around $105 million. Convert $105 million from 1926 to what it’s worth now, and it’s up past $100 billion in today’s funds.
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Panorama of Miami after the hurricane[/caption]
- Galveston Hurricane (1900)
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Wreckage near Texas City[/caption]
Flash back even farther to the dawn of the 20th century
. Wind gusted at 120 miles per hour – weaker than many of the other deadly hurricanes mentioned – and yet the death toll was around 10,000 – possibly more. To date, this is the deadliest hurricane that has ever hit the United States.
Interestingly, the storm continued northward – still blowing furiously in tropical strength through Kansas – and then weakened as it traveled up past the Great Lakes until finally it left the mainland over the North Atlantic Ocean. It doesn’t happen often, but apparently even Kansas can feel the effects of a hurricane.
- Hurricane Katrina (2005)
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Flooding in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina[/caption]
Coming in on top as the worst hurricane to ever reach the U.S. mainland is Hurricane Katrina
. Still fairly recent, Katrina was a category 3 upon landfall, but its massive size made for widespread devastation as it passed through.
Hurricane Katrina’s strong, onshore winds created a massive storm surge along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. At 28 feet, this was the highest storm surge ever recorded in the United States. It traveled 6 miles inland, killing more than 200 people in Mississippi.
Another storm surge raised water levels in the canals around New Orleans, making it overflow the levees and flood walls to flood the vast majority of New Orleans. Only 20% of the city was left unflooded. The cleanup process was extensive, taking six weeks to drain the flooded city. Over 1,500 people were killed in Louisiana.