What Was the Worst Hurricane in History?

Hurricane historians rate storms by their destructive power. The worst hurricanes in history have caused widespread damage and loss of life.

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Hurricane Camille

Hurricane Camille was one of the strongest and most destructive hurricanes ever to hit the United States. It made landfall on the Mississippi Gulf Coast as a Category 5 hurricane with sustained winds of 175 mph (280 km/h) and a storm surge of 24 feet (7.3 m). The hurricane destroyed much of the coastal communities of Mississippi and Louisiana, causing $1.42 billion in damage and killing 248 people.

Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina was one of the deadliest hurricanes in United States history. It struck the Gulf Coast in August 2005, causing widespread damage and loss of life.

Katrina formed over the Bahamas on August 23, 2005, and quickly strengthened as it moved towards Florida. It then turned northwards and made landfall on the Gulf Coast as a Category 3 hurricane on August 29. The storm caused severe damage to parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, with particularly catastrophic effects in New Orleans.

In all, Katrina caused over 1,800 deaths and $105 billion in damage. It was the deadliest hurricane to hit the United States since 1928, and one of the costliest natural disasters in American history.

Hurricane Sandy

It’s hard to compare hurricanes from different eras, but Hurricane Sandy was one of the worst in recent history. The superstorm made landfall in New Jersey on October 29th, 2012, causing widespread damage and flooding along the East Coast. Ultimately, the storm resulted in over $70 billion in damages and claimed the lives of over 200 people.

Hurricane Harvey

In August of 2017, Hurricane Harvey inundated southeastern Texas with unprecedented rains. The resulting floods wreaked havoc on the region, causing an estimated $125 billion in damage and claiming more than 60 lives. It was the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history.

Hurricane Irma

Category 5 Hurricane Irma was the strongest Atlantic basin hurricane ever recorded. It was also the most powerful storm ever observed in the Open Atlantic region, outside of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.

Irma caused widespread death and destruction throughout its path, particularly in the Leeward Islands, where it caused catastrophic damage to Barbuda, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin, Anguilla, and the Virgin Islands. As of November 2017, at least 134 direct and indirect deaths have been attributed to Irma in the Caribbean and the southeastern United States.

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