Hurricanes are one of Mother Nature’s deadliest natural disasters. A dangerous combination of brute force winds, rain, thunder, lightning, storm surges and flooding, these storms can pack a powerful punch causing damage that costs thousands upon thousands of dollars to fix and often costing priceless lives in the process.
The Galveston Hurricane of 1900 was one of the deadliest natural disasters in American history. While the full extent of its intensity is not known, the storm caused surges of 8 to 15 feet that submerged almost the entirety of Galveston Island and other parts of the coast. The death toll was somewhere between 8,000 and 12,000 lives and the property damage was estimated at somewhere around $30 million.
The Great Miami Hurricane of 1926 snuck up on the people of Florida. No warning was issued to the inhabitants of Southern Florida until the storm was right on top of them. When the eye of the storm hit, many unsuspecting people ventured outside thinking the storm had passed only to be hit with the other side of the storm minutes later. Experts estimate that the disaster would be the equivalent of $90 billion if it happened today.
Hurricane Andrew in 1992 proved to be one of the most destructive hurricanes ever to hit the United States. By the time Andrew made it to Florida’s shore, it had reached Category 4 status and hit land with a 17 foot storm surge that submerged a great deal of the coast. The storm caused roughly $27 billion in damages to Southern Florida and $250 million in the Bahamas.
In October of 1998, a Category 5 storm named Hurricane Mitch made its way towards the Islands of Honduras. Thankfully it weakened before it hit land, but the storm still did plenty of damage to the islands with heavy rains and the storm surge causing a great deal of flooding.
And who could forget Hurricane Katrina in 2005? At one point a Category 5 storm, Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans like a freight train killing approximately 1,000 people in Louisiana and 200 in Mississippi. The surge from the storm caused the levees in New Orleans to break and flood the city. The city was still recovering from the devastation when another Category 5 storm, Hurricane Rita threatened the area. Thankfully it was downgraded to a tropical storm before it hit land.
Historic Hurricanes – Some of the Most Powerful Storms on Record. Hurricaneville.
National Hurricane Center. Hurricane History.