Deadliest Hurricanes to Strike the United States - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Deadliest Hurricanes to Strike the United States

Here are major hurricanes and tropical storms that have affected the United States over the past century:

Galveston, 1900: The nation's deadliest natural disaster, the storm struck with little warning late on Sept. 8. Storm tides of 8 to 15 feet inundated Galveston Island and portions of the nearby Texas coast. The tides were largely responsible for the 8,000 deaths, with some estimates ranging as high as 12,000.

Atlantic-Gulf Hurricane, 1919: The storm arrived at Corpus Christi, Texas, on Sept. 14 with a surge of up to 12 feet. The death toll was estimated at 600 to 900 people.

San Felipe-Okeechobee Hurricane, 1928: After scoring a direct hit on Puerto Rico on Sept. 13, the storm continued through the Bahamas and made landfall near Palm Beach, Fla., on the 16th. At inland Lake Okeechobee the hurricane caused a lake surge of 6 to 9 feet that inundated the area. Some 1,836 people died in Florida, plus 312 in Puerto Rico.

Florida Keys Labor Day Hurricane, 1935: This storm slammed into the keys on Sept. 2, then turned north in the southeastern United States. The wind and tides were responsible for 408 deaths in the Florida Keys, primarily among World War I veterans working in the area.

New England Hurricane, 1938: Known as the "Long Island Express," this powerful storm crashed into New York's Long Island and then went on to batter southern New England. This hurricane struck with little warning and was responsible for 600 deaths.

Great Atlantic Hurricane, 1944: A powerful early September storm that lashed much of the East Coast. While this hurricane caused 46 deaths in the United States, the worst effects occurred at sea, where it wreaked havoc on World War II shipping. Five ships, including a U.S. Navy destroyer and minesweeper, two U.S. Coast Guard cutters, and a light vessel, were sunk by the storm, causing 344 deaths.

Hurricanes Carol and Edna, 1954: Carol made landfall Aug. 31 over Long Island, N.Y. and Connecticut. Carol was responsible for 60 deaths and $461 million in damage in the United States. The remarkably similar Hurricane Edna formed a few days later and followed a very similar path, making landfall Sept. 10 over Cape Cod. The storm was responsible for 20 deaths.

Hurricane Hazel, 1954: Hazel came ashore in the Carolinas on Oct. 15 and from there slogged north through Pennsylvania and New York and into Canada with heavy rains producing severe floods. Hazel was responsible for 95 deaths in the United States, 100 deaths in Canada and an estimated 400 fatalities in Haiti.

Hurricanes Connie and Diane, 1955: These two struck the North Carolina coast only five days apart in early August and rain from Connie set the stage for the devastating floods from North Carolina to Massachusetts caused by Diane. The floods were responsible for 184 deaths.

Hurricane Audrey, 1957: Audrey struck the Texas-Louisiana border on June 27 then turned toward Mississippi. Strong storm surges penetrated as far inland as 25 miles over portions of low-lying southwestern Louisiana. These surges were responsible for the vast majority of the 390 deaths from Audrey.

Hurricane Donna, 1960: Donna struck Florida Sept. 11 and then moved north, eventually reaching New England. Donna is the only storm to produce hurricane-force winds in Florida, the Mid-Atlantic states and New England. It was responsible for 50 deaths in the United States.

Hurricane Camille, 1969: This storm made landfall Aug. 17 along the Mississippi coast and moved north. A storm tide of 24.6 feet occurred at Pass Christian, Miss. The combination of winds, surges, and rain killed 143 on the Gulf Coast and 113 in Virginia floods.

Hurricane Agnes, 1972: Agnes hit the Florida panhandle on Aug. 19, moved into Georgia and headed north, reaching New York on the 22nd. Rains produced widespread severe flooding from Virginia northward to New York and caused 122 deaths in the United States.

Hurricane Alicia, 1983: Alicia battered Galveston and Houston on Aug. 18. Wind gusts in downtown Houston littered the streets with broken glass as windows broke in the high-rise buildings. The storm was responsible for 21 deaths and $2 billion in damage in the United States.

Hurricane Hugo, 1989: After passing over Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, Hugo made landfall near Charleston, S.C., on Sept. 22. Storm surges swamped the coast from Charleston to Myrtle Beach, with maximum tides of 20 feet. Hugo was responsible for 21 deaths in mainland United States, five more in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and 24 elsewhere in the Caribbean. Damage estimates are $7 billion in the mainland United States.

Hurricane Andrew, 1992: The most destructive United States hurricane of record, the 165-mph Andrew blasted its way across south Florida on Aug. 24, continued westward into the Gulf of Mexico and struck the Louisiana coast on Aug. 26. Andrew was responsible for 43 deaths and $31 billion in damage.

Hurricane Floyd, 1999: This storm came ashore near Cape Fear, N.C., on Sept. 16 and continued along the coast into New England. Storm-produced floods were responsible for 50 of the 56 deaths caused by Floyd in the United States.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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