September 13, 1989, is one of the darkest days ever to be witnessed by the people of Southeast United States, Saint Croix, Guadeloupe, and Puerto Rico. A powerful Cape Verde hurricane that is believed to have formed at the eastern Atlantic hit the entire area leaving over 75 people dead. Most of the casualties in Hurricane Hugo are believed to have died from drowning or electrocution. The hurricane would also leave over 100,000 people homeless for the following 12 days. In memory of that event, we are looking back at some of the worst Hurricanes in American history.
Hurricane Charley, 2004 – Strongest Hurricane of all Time
Charley lasted for more than a week and is believed to have attained a speed of 240km/h which makes it’s the most robust category four hurricane in history. It moved through the Caribbean Sea to Cuba before hitting Florida.
Bobbie Taylor Rudman grieves as she goes through belongings in her grandmother’s mobile home that was destroyed by Hurricane Charley on August 20, 2004, in Punta Gorda, Florida. Hurricane Charley has caused an estimated $7.4 billion in damage and has left thousands homeless. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
More than $16.9 billion worth of damages were recorded and over 20 lives. The hurricane had been predicted, and enough warnings give, and this is the reason there were very few fatalities. Surprisingly, the effect of this hurricane is still felt by the people of Florida.
1938 Hurricane- Great New England Hurricane
This was the deadliest and most destructive hurricane ever to hit the island. The category five hurricane formed at the coast of Africa on September 9 before proceeding to New England. More than 682 people lost their lives and over 57,000 homes destroyed.
A couple sitting amongst the remains of their home at Highland Park, Rhode Island, USA, after a 100-mile-an-hour swept the Atlantic coast of North America. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
A total of $306 million damages were recorded for the few days following the flooding. The storm passed through Bahamas, Florida, and Carolinas. The island has ever since increased its preparedness for hurricanes. Systems have been put in place to give a warning.
Superstorm Sandy, 2012- Sweeping the Continent
This is the second costliest disaster ever to hit the United States. It led to losses of more than $70 billion in damages. This was a category three hurricane and developed from a known tropical wave along the Caribbean Sea before moving northwards to the Great Antilles.
People (bottom) walk near the remains of burned homes after Hurricane Sandy on October 31, 2012, in the Breezy Point neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Over 50 homes were reportedly destroyed in a fire during the storm. At least 50 people were reportedly killed in the U.S. by Sandy. New York City was hit especially hard with widespread power outages and significant flooding in parts of the city. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
The first landfall was reported in Jamaica and later in Cuba and Bahamas, and then it hit New Jersey and New York. There were more than 233 fatalities recorded. The October 2012 incidence made metrological history and affected over 24 states in total.
1935 Labor Day Hurricane – The Unexpected Guest
The 1935 disaster is characterized by landfalls and came as a surprise to many at the eve of Labor Day celebrations. The category five hurricane and its effects were felt in Bahamas and Florida. There was massive destruction of property especially in the upper Florida Keys where a storm surge of more than 20feet swept through the low lying islands.
(Original Caption) All but the engine of this Florida East Coast Emergency Relief train was blown from the tracks by the hurricane, just below Snake Creek, near Islamorada in the South Florida Keys. The train had been on route to the war veterans camp below Matecumbe. As work of reconstruction begins, bodies of victims, where other means of burial are impossible, are being cremated to prevent the outbreak of pestilence
Almost all structures between Marathon and Tavernier and total loss of 423 lives. More than 100,000 people were left homeless and property worth $100 million destroyed. After this incidence, the United States government intensified its investment in preparedness for hurricanes.
1928 Southeast Florida Hurricane – The Wrath From Africa
It is also referred to as San-Felipe Segundo hurricane and deadliest to ever be recorded at the North Atlantic basin. The hurricane developed from West Coast of Africa and would later strengthen to a tropical storm on September 6. Nevis, Martinique, and Montserrat are part of the islands that were hit, but Guadeloupe felt much of the intensity of this category four hurricane.
Disaster Caused By A Hurricane In Puerto Rico, September 1928. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)
More than 1,200 lives were lost and over 24,728 homes completely damaged. More than 500,000 people were left homeless. Agricultural products were completely damaged leading to a total loss of $713 million in today’s currency.
Hurricane Camille, 1969 – Most Intense Storm in the U.S.
The Camille started forming on August 14 from the south of Cuba in a known tropical wave. It first started as a category two hurricane but later intensified to category 5 three days later after its formation.
(Original Caption) Aerial views made 8/18 of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Camille after the big storm lashed ashore with winds of nearly 200 miles per hour. Interiors of homes were gutted and in some cases, entire homes were flattened by the worst hurricane to hit the U.S. mainland in this century. At least 250 persons were known dead and many thousands made homeless.
It first stroked the entire western part of the United States and then moved to the northern part of the country towards Louisiana-Mississippi. More than 259 people lost their lives, and property worth of $1.43 billion was destroyed. After the disaster, there was an outbreak of many diseases that continued to cause loss of lives.
Hurricane Andrew, 1992 – Most Destructive Hurricane in the 20th Century
This hurricane is remembered for making landfalls almost in every part of the United States until 2005 when Katrina set a new record. Bahamas and Louisiana profoundly felt the wrath of this disaster, but South Florida was hit the worst. This incidence occurred in August 1992 and recorded a speed of 270km/h and directly passed through Miami-Dade County.
Homes were reduced to piles of rubble following Hurricane Andrew. (Photo by Steve Starr/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
More than 63,500 houses were completely damaged, and 124,000 were destroyed or affected in one way or another resulting to a $27.3billion in damages. Despite the massive loss of property, the hurricane was responsible for the loss of 65 lives.
1926 Miami Hurricane – The Great Miami Hurricane
The September 1926 incidence caused a devastating loss of over US$100 resulting from its damages. Taking into consideration the changes in inflation and population, this is the second costliest disaster ever to hit the United States. The intense tropical cyclone ran over the Great Miami and almost destroyed the Bahamas.
USA Florida Miami: View of Miami after the hurricane – 1926 – Vintage property of ullstein bild (Photo by ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
This disaster marked the beginning of the great depression characterized by the state’s land boom. A study shows that the cyclone formed at the central Atlantic Ocean on September 11.
Galveston Hurricane – The Great Storm of 1900
This is still considered to be the deadliest natural disaster ever to hit the United States and the worst in Canada. The number of fatalities is estimated to be between 6,000 and 12,000. The entire Island of Galveston was covered with water up to 3.7 meters deep.
Men carrying a body on a stretcher, surrounded by the wreckage of the hurricane and flood, Galveston, Texas. (Photo by Buyenlarge/Getty Images)
The was massive destruction of property especially houses with the official report indicating that more than 3,636 structures were destroyed leaving up to 30,000 people homeless. The aftermath of this disaster is that many potential investors were alarmed and instead opted to invest in Huston.
Hurricane Katrina, 2005 –The Deadly Engineering Flaws of the Century
This was a category five hurricane and one of the most destructive to ever hit the United States. In 2005, Gulf Coast (US) spreading from Florida to Far East Texas was hit by flooding which was caused by fatal engineering flaws in the systems that were supposed to control flooding.
Canal Street is flooded a day after Hurricane Katrina blew through August 30, 2005, in New Orleans, Louisiana. Devastation is widespread throughout the city with water 12 feet high in some areas. Hundreds are feared dead and thousands were left homeless in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida by the storm. Looting has been reported in New Orleans, mostly empty due to the storm. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
There were at least 1,245 lives lost for a period of five days making it the second largest and deadliest after the 1928 Okeechobee hurricane. The hurricane caused massive destruction of property along the coastal areas. After the incidence, the US government increased its emergency response capacity by nearly half.