Biggest Hurricanes in History
This 19th-century storm is the fifth most intense hurricane ever to hit the United States, as determined by its minimum pressure. It's named after the Texas town that was completely destroyed after the storm's high winds caused a massive fire.
This fierce hurricane hit the island of Cheniere Caminada, Louisiana, in early October 1893. The storm wiped out the small fishing community, which was never rebuilt. Extremely high winds destroyed crops across the Gulf states. It is the fourth deadliest hurricane to have struck the U.S.
Together with the Cheniere Caminada Hurricane, this storm put the 1893 hurricane season into the record books. Beginning as a tropical storm near this island nation, the storm reached hurricane strength as it moved westward. It eventually made landfall near this U.S. city. It is the fifth deadliest hurricane to have struck the U.S.
This Category 4 hurricane was the deadliest natural disaster so far in U.S. history. The storm leveled the island city of Galveston, Texas, which at the time was a wealthy, bustling metropolis. The town was rebuilt and raised and is now protected by a seawall
This storm emerged out of the West Indies and reached hurricane strength as it passed through this group of Caribbean islands. The storm passed just south of the Florida Keys as a Category 4 hurricane and continued its trail of destruction westward. One Texas city was hit especially hard after a 12-foot storm surge crashed into its coastline.
This storm was the second major hurricane to hit Puerto Rico on this Christian holiday. The Category 4 hurricane continued westward, landing in this Florida county and eventually dissipating once it reached these inland lakes. It was the second deadliest hurricane to have hit the U.S.
According to this federal agency, the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 was the most intense hurricane ever to hit the United States. It was the first of three Category 5 hurricanes to make landfall in the U.S. The storm was compact yet ferocious, unleashing most of its damage on the upper Florida Keys after it caused an enormous 18- to 20-foot storm surge. Many of the storm's victims were veterans of this war.
This epic storm began as a tropical wave moving along the African coast in late August 1960. By Sept. 9 it hit the Florida Keys as a Category 4 hurricane. It traveled north past this East Coast state and continued into New England. It is the only storm to have ever unleashed hurricane-force winds in Florida, New England and this region.
Hurricane Camille emerged slightly west of this British territory and gained strength as it moved northwest through this ocean basin. The storm hit Mississippi as a Category 5 hurricane and, according to its minimum pressure readings, was the second most intense hurricane to ever hit the U.S.
This Category 5 hurricane is the second costliest hurricane to ever hit the U.S., inflicting most of its damage in the southern parts of this state. To prevent looting in the storm's aftermath, the federal government sent military reserve forces to the region. Hurricane Andrew caused a massive storm surge in Florida and spawned a deadly tornado in this Louisiana town
Though Hurricane Charley was a relatively small and speedy storm, it unexpectedly changed direction , hitting southwest Florida with little warning. The storm spawned several tornadoes across North Carolina, Florida and Virginia. Florida's Port Charlotte and this neighboring town were both leveled by the storm.
On its path toward the U.S., Hurricane Ivan inflicted catastrophic damage to Jamaica, Grand Cayman and this commonwealth nation. As it moved through the Gulf of Mexico, Ivan was as large as this U.S. state, eventually making landfall in Alabama. The storm also spawned scores of tornadoes (how many?) across the southeastern United States.
Hurricane Katrina was the costliest hurricane in U.S. history. The storm waters breached the levees in this Louisiana city and devastated coastal towns in this neighboring state. In the hurricane's aftermath, FEMA and the U.S. president were fiercely criticized for how they handled the disaster.
Hurricane Wilma is one of the costliest hurricanes to strike the United States. Before wreaking havoc in Southern Florida, the storm slammed into this island nation and this region of Mexico. This popular tourist destination was hit hard by the storm, which damaged several of its historic buildings.