Natural and Man-Made Disasters,
Historical Natural Disasters

U. S. Hurricanes


Hurricane: 1 : a tropical cyclone with winds of 74 miles (118 kilometers) per hour or greater that occurs especially in the western Atlantic, that is usually accompanied by rain, thunder, and lightning, and that sometimes moves into temperate latitudes -- see Beaufort Scale and Saffir-Simpson Scale. 2 : something resembling a hurricane especially in its turmoil

(U.S. deaths only, except where noted. Damages are actual cost in U.S. dollars, followed in parentheses by dollar figures adjusted to the year 2000.)

1776Sept. 2-9, N.C. to Nova Scotia: called the "Hurricane of Independence", it is believed that 4,170 in the U.S. and Canada died in the storm.
1856Aug. 11, Last Island, La.: 400 died.
1893Aug. 28, Savannah, Ga., Charleston, S.C., Sea Islands, S.C.: at least 1,000 died.

Sept. 8, Galveston, Tex.: an estimated 6,000-8,000 died in hurricane and tidal surge. The "Galveston Hurricane" is considered the deadliest in U.S. history.

1909Sept. 10-21, La. and Miss.: 350 deaths.
1915Aug. 5-23, Galveston, Tex., and New Orleans, La.: 275 killed.
1919Sept. 2-15, Fla. keys, La., and southern Tex.: more than 600 killed, mostly lost on ships at sea.
1926Sept. 11-22, southeast Fla. and Ala.: 243 deaths.
1928Sept. 6-20, Lake Okeechobee, southeast Fla.: 1,836 deaths. Second-deadliest U.S. hurricane on record.
1935Aug. 29-Sept. 10, Fla. keys: "Labor Day Hurricane"; 408 deaths.
1938Sept. 10-22, Long Island, N.Y., and southern New England: "New England Hurricane"; 600 deaths.
1944Sept. 9-16, N.C. to New England: 390 deaths, 344 of which were at sea.
1947Sept. 4-21, southeast Fla., La., Miss., Ala.: 51 killed.
1954Aug. 25-31, N.C. to New England: "Carol" killed 60 in Long Island-New England area.
Oct. 5-18, S.C. to N.Y.: "Hazel" killed 95 in U.S.; about 400-1,000 in Haiti; 78 in Canada.
1955Aug. 7-21, N.C. to New England: "Diane" took 184 lives and cost $8.3 million ($5.5 billion).
1957June 25-28, southwest La. and northern Tex.: "Audrey" wiped out Cameron, La., causing 390 deaths.
1960Aug. 29-Sept. 13, Fla. to New England: "Donna" killed 50 in the U.S.; 115 deaths in Antilles.
1961Sept. 3-15, Tex. coast: "Carla" devastated Tex. gulf cities, taking 46 lives.
1965Aug. 27-Sept. 12, southern Fla. and La.: "Betsy" killed 75 people and cost more than $1.4 ($8.5) billion.
1969Aug. 14-22, Miss., La., Ala., Va., and W. Va.: 256 killed as a result of "Camile", Damages estimated at $1.4 ($6.9) billion.
1972June 14-23, northwest Fla. to N.Y.: "Agnes" caused 117 deaths (50 in Pa.). Damages estimated at over $2.1 ($8.6) billion. Still the worst natural disaster ever in Pa.
1979Aug. 25-Sept. 7, Caribbean to New England: "David" caused five U.S. deaths; 1,200 in the Dominican Republic.
Aug. 29-Sept. 15, Ala. and Miss.: "Frederick" devastated Mobile, Ala., and caused $2.3 ($4.9) billion in damage overall.
1980Aug. 3-10, Caribbean to Tex. Gulf: "Allen" killed 28 in U.S.; over 200 in Caribbean.
1983Aug. 15-21, Galveston and Houston, Tex.: "Alicia" caused 21 deaths and $2 ($3.4) billion in damages.
1985Oct. 6-Nov. 1: "Juan" struck La. and the Southeast. Though only a category 1 hurricane, it caused severe flooding and $1.5 ($2.4) billion in damages; 63 lives were lost.
1989Sept. 10-22, Caribbean Sea, S.C., and N.C.: "Hugo" claimed 86 lives (57 U.S. mainland). With damages estimated at over $7 ($9.7) billion, it is the second most costly U.S. hurricanes.
1991Oct. 30-Nov. 1, Eastern Atlantic seaboard: an unnamed hurricane labeled the "Perfect Storm" caused extensive erosion and flooding along the Atlantic seaboard and created 39-foot waves.
1992Aug. 22-26, Bahamas, southern Fla., and La.: Hurricane "Andrew" left 26 dead and more than 100,000 homes destroyed or damaged. With total U.S. damages estimated at $26.5 ($34.9) billion, it is the most costly hurricane in U.S. history.
1994Nov. 8-21, Caribbean and southern Fla.:"Gordon" led to an estimated 1,122 deaths in Haiti. Eight died in Fla.
1995Nov. 29, Fla. panhandle and Ala.: storm surge during "Opal" caused extensive damage to coastal areas. In U.S. death toll reached nine and damages $3 ($3.5) billion.
1996Sept. 5, N.C. and Va.: "Fran" took 37 lives and caused more than $3.2 ($3.6) billion in damage.
1999Sept. 14-18, Bahamas to New England: "Floyd" and associated flooding caused at least 57 deaths including one in the Bahamas. Hardest-hit N.C. suffered 36 "Floyd" related deaths. Damage estimated at $4.5 ($4.6) billion.
2001June 8-15, Gulf Coast to southern New England: tropical storm "Allison" caused severe flooding, especially around Houston, where 20,000 residents were evacuated from their homes. Damage estimated at $5 billion (actual cost); 41 deaths, including 23 in Tex.
2004Aug. 13-Sept. 26, Fla., Ala., and southern U.S.: Four major hurricanes hit Fla. in 6 weeks. "Charlie"on Aug. 13, a Category 4 hurricane, killed 34; "Francis" on Sept. 5, killed 48. "Ivan" swept from Grenada to Ala. and Fla. on Sept. 16, killing 57 in the U.S. and 66 in the Caribbean. "Jeanne" on Sept. 26, flooded Fla. again, killing 28. Total U.S. damages from the 4 hurricanes estimated to exceed $35 billion.
2005* Aug. 25-Aug. 30, Florida, Mississippi and Louisiana: "Katrina" hit southern Florida on August 25th and on August 29th slammed the Gulf Coast with 127 mph winds and major storm surges, destroying hundreds of homes and businesses and causing massive flooding in Mississippi, Alabama, and New Orleans where the levees failed. The death toll was c. 1,800, with 1,464 of those in Louisiana. "Katrina" was among the most devastating of U.S. hurricanes with damages estimated at $100 billion.
Sept. 18-Sept. 30, Texas and Louisiana: "Rita" the 2nd Category 5 in the season, made landfall September 24th on the Texas/Louisiana border as a Category 3 storm, with 15-ft storm surges caused estimated damages of $8 billion. A massive evacuation of the coastal area kept the death toll to 119 storm-related deaths.
Oct. 18-Oct. 24, Caribbean, Mexico, and Florida: "Wilma" moved through Haiti, killing 11, Jamaica, and on to Mexico where she battered The Yucatan peninsula for more than 24 hours before moving on to Cuba and southern Florida causing extensive damage; left more than 6 million without power and killed 35 with estimated costs over $10 billion.
Dec. 30-Jan. 7, 2006, U.S.: "Zeta", the last hurricane of the most active season in 154 years.

* See also, Hurricane Katrina

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27 Sep. 2006

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