Part of the Far Out Five series produced by Scott Teeters of FarOutRadio Productions.
Scott Teeters, host & producer of Far Out Radio presents, The Far Out Five WORST HURRICANES In American History.
According to The National Hurricane Center, the Atlantic hurricane season starts on June 1st and ends on November 30th. Hurricane activity typically is at its highest, in late August and September when the temperatures aloft in the air, and the sea surface temperatures are the greatest.
According to Weather.com, from 1851 to 2013 there have been 875 hurricanes with 286 making U.S. landfall – that’s just a 33% chance of landfall. Typically, hurricanes quickly diminish after they make landfall because the storm system no longer has its source of warm ocean water. However, the remnants of a hurricane can still wreak havoc hundreds of miles from the coast.
Hurricanes are usually thought of as something that typically only Florida and the Gulf States experience, but this is definitely not the case. On September 19, 1938 a Category 3 hurricane savaged Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. And as recently as October 29, 2012, Category 1 Hurricane Sandy, slammed into New Jersey just south of Atlantic City in Brigantine.
While these two hurricanes had atypical landfall locations and were very bad, they did not make our top five list!
And now, here are the Far Out Five, Worst Hurricanes to hit The United States.
#5 Camille in Mississippi Gulf Coast
#5 – Hurricane Camille devastated the Mississippi Gulf Coast on August 18 and 19, 1969 as a Category 5 monster and, the second of three Category 5 hurricanes to hit the U.S. in the 20th century. While wind speeds were estimated at 200 mph, actual speeds will never be known because many weather stations were destroyed upon Camille’s landfall.
#4 Hurricane Andrew in Florida
#4 – Hurricane Andrew, a Category 5 storm ripped apart the southeastern tip of Florida on August 24, 1992. When you are in the bottom of the Florida peninsula, going north is easier said than done. Most of the damage was in Dade County. The devastation was especially extensive due to the large numbers of mobile and bolt-down prefabricated homes.
#3 1926 Miami Florida Hurricane
#3 – The 1926 Miami Hurricane goes down in the record books as representing an early start to The Great Depression. Of course, early warning systems were nonexistent and people did not know very much about the nature of hurricanes. Estimated as a Category 4 storm, the hurricane slammed into downtown Miami, Coconut Grove, and South Miami early on September 18.
It is hard to believe, but the residents did not know about the “eye” of a hurricane. When the eye passed over the city, residents mistakenly thought the storm had passed. It was actually just a 35 minute respite, as the worst was yet to come. A 10 foot storm surge moved on to Miami Beach.
The Red Cross reported that 372 people were killed and damages were estimated to be $105 million in 1926 dollars, or over $100 Billion in today’s dollars. This is a tragic example of how vulnerable people were that lived in coastal areas back in the good old days.
#2 1900 Galveston Texas Hurricane
#2 – The 1900 Galveston Texas Hurricane was a tragedy almost beyond imagination. The Category 4 hurricane hit Galveston at full force on September 8, with wind speeds estimated at 145 mph. Galveston Island is only 26 miles long, is no more than three miles at its widest, and had an elevation of only 8.7 feet. With a storm surge of 15 feet, the entire island was washed over, knocking buildings off their foundations, with the heavy surf pounding the remains to bits.
Fatalities were estimated between 6,000 and 12,000, with the official count at approximately 8,000, making this the deadliest hurricane in U.S. history.
#1 Hurricane Katrina in Louisana
And #1 – Hurricane Katrina. Even if you are a young teenager, you have no doubt heard about Category 5, Hurricane Katrina. The 11th hurricane of 2015, Katrina kissed the southern tip of Florida in Miami-Dade County on August 25 and briefly deteriorated into a tropical storm. But as the storm moved over the very warm waters of the Gulf, it quickly grew into a Category 5 monster. By the time Katrina made its second landfall on August 29 in southeast Louisiana, it had weakened to ONLY a Category 3.
Katrina killed 1,833 people, the highest number since the 1928 Lake Okeechobee Hurricane in Florida in the twenties. Overall, Katrina ranks as the deadliest hurricane since the 1928 Lake Okeechobee Hurricane that claimed 1,833 people.