Tag Archives: natural disaster

The Ten Costliest US Hurricanes

The Ten Costliest US Hurricanes

The Ten Worst Hurricanes As Measured By Cost
(all figures are in adjusted dollars)

Note that as coastal populations and property building continue to increase, damage figures also will increase. For example, Florida’s population in 1980 was around nine million. In 2017, its population is just over 20 million. Thus, any hurricane that hits will affect twice as many people, and presumably have twice the economic impact (Ceteris paribus). When the legendary 1935 Labor Day Hurricane hit, the state’s population was around one and a half million.

  1. Hurricane Katrina, August 2005. Louisiana
    1. The most destructive hurricane in US History caused an estimated $100 – $200 billion in damage.
  2. Hurricane Harvey, August  – September 2017
    1. The estimated economic impact currently stands at $50 billion
  3. Hurricane Irma, September  2017, Florida
    1. Estimates for damage are at $50 billion.
  4. Hurricane Andrew, August 24 – 28, 1992, Florida and Louisiana
    1. A Category 4 when it hit Florida, Hurricane Andrew hit Louisiana as a Category 3.
    2. Andrew caused an estimated $43.672 billion in damages.
  5. Hurricane Charley, August 13 – 14, 2004, Florida
    1. Although a relatively small hurricane, Charley was very intense, causing $15 billion in damage.
  6. Hurricane Ivan, September 16 – 24, 2004, Southeastern United States
    1. Hurricane Ivan hit Gulf Shores, Alabama on September 16, producing more than 100 tornados and flooding across the American southeast.
    2. The remnants of the storm hit the Delmarva Peninsula on the 18th, where it picked up speed, passed back down the coast, became a tropical storm again in the Gulf and then hit Louisiana as a tropical depression. Ivan left $14.2 billion in damage in its wake.
  7. Hurricane Hugo, September 22, 1989, Charleston, South Carolina
    1. A Category 4, Hurricane Hugo caused $12.25 billion in damages.
  8. Hurricane Agnes, June 19 – 25, 1972, South and North Eastern United States
    1. Although a Category 1, and at other times not even a hurricane at all, Agnes carved an $11.2 billion path of destruction from the Florida Panhandle to New York, New York. Most of the damage came from heavy rains.
  9. Hurricane Betsy, September 7 – 9, 1965, Southeast Florida, Southeast Louisiana
    1. Falling just short of being classified as a Category 5, Betsy struck the Florida Keys on the 7th, and New Orleans on the 9th.
    2. Flooding from the storm breached the levees in New Orleans, leaving the city flooded for ten days.
    3. Betsy is also called “Billion Dollar Betsy” because it was the first to cause a billion dollars in damage. In today’s dollars, the total would be $10.79 billion.
  10. Hurricane Frances, September 5, 2004, Florida
    1. Frances was a Category 2 that caused $8.9 billion in damage.
  11. Hurricane Camille, August 17 – 22, 1969, Mississippi, SE Louisiana, Virginia
    1. Camille, a Category 5, was the second most intense Hurricane ever to hit the United States.
    2. The final windspeed will never be known because all measuring devices were destroyed. Storm tides, winds, and flash flooding caused by the storm in West Virginia and Virginia caused $8.8 billion in damages.
  12. Hurricane Diane, August 17 – 19, 1955, Northeast coast from Virginia to New York
    1. Diane, along with her sister storm, Connie, which hit the same areas just five days earlier, caused $6.9 billion in damage.
    2. Most of the damage was caused by flooding.

Originally posted 2015-01-05 01:52:38.

The Ten Deadliest US Hurricanes

The Ten Deadliest US Hurricanes

The Worst Hurricanes In Terms of Loss of Life In the United States
1.
The Great Galveston Hurricane
Galveston, Texas
September 8, 1900

This unnamed hurricane caused the greatest loss of life of any Hurricane in recorded US history. First tracked in Cuba as a tropical storm on Sept. 3, it hit Galveston as a Category 4 Hurricane. An estimated 6,000 – 12,000 people died as storm tides of eight to 15 feet washed over the barrier island. The tragedy was documented in the recent book, Isaac’s Storm.

2.
San Felipe-Okeechobee Hurricane
Florida
September 16 – 17, 1928

The fourth strongest Hurricane to hit the US mainland caused the second highest number of casualties. A lake surge on the inland Lake Okeechobee in Florida rose as high as nine feet, flooding nearby towns. A total of 1,836 people died in Florida; another 312 died in Puerto RIco, and 18 in the Bahamas.

3.
Hurricane Katrina
Louisiana, Mississippi
August 25 – 29, 2005

Making landfall as a Category 4, Hurricane Katrina caused immense flooding in New Orleans. More than 800 deaths currently are being blamed on Katrina.

4.
The Long Island Express
North Carolina to New York
September 20 – 22, 1938

The Long Island Express roared past North Carolina on September 20, and hit Long Island on September 22 as a Category 3. Storm surges of 12 – 16 feet killed at least 600.

5.
The Great Labor Day Storm
Florida
September 2, 1935

One of just three Category 5 Hurricanes to make landfall in the US, the Great Labor Day Storm was responsible for 423 deaths in Florida. Most of those occurred when a train carrying World War I veterans was overturned. The Hurricane also was notable for providing the setting for the Humphrey Bogart – Lauren Bacall movie, Key Largo.

6.
Hurricane Audrey
Texas and Louisiana
June 26, 1957

Audrey was a Category 4 that caused eight to 12 foot storm surges that moved inland as far as 25 miles through low-lying areas of Louisiana. The storm is blamed for 390 deaths.

7.
The Great Miami Hurricane
Florida
September 18, 1926

The Great Miami Hurricane struck Miami directly with little warning. The town of Moore Haven on the south side of Lake Okeechobee was completely flooded by lake surge from the hurricane. Hundreds of people in Moore Haven alone were killed by this surge, which left behind floodwaters in the town for weeks afterward. The Red Cross lists the death toll at 373, although the total may be higher because much of the population at the time was either new, or transient, with no one to account for them.

8.
The Grand Isle Hurricane
Louisiana
September 20, 1909

This Category 4 storm struck the mainland between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. It is blamed for at least 350 deaths.

9.
The Atlantic-Gulf Hurricane
Florida, Texas
September 10 – 14, 1919

This hurricane struck the Keys as a Category 4, and Texas as a Category 3. US mainland losses are recorded as 287, but more than 500 more people apparently were lost at sea as the storm destroyed ten ships.

10.
Unnamed Storm
New Orleans, Louisiana
September 30, 1915

In a frightening precursor to 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, this unnamed Category 4 Storm flooded Lake Pontchartrain, causing it to overflow its banks and killing 275 people.

11.
Unnamed Storm
Galveston, Texas
August 5, 1915

In spite of a seawall built following the devastating 1900 storm, this Category 4 hurricane once again devastated the city of Galveston, Texas. It killed 275.

Originally posted 2015-01-05 01:50:53.

Coldest and Warmest Days In the United States

Coldest and Warmest Days In the United States

As large as it is, the United States has been subject to an incredibly wide range of temperatures. Read on to discover the Coldest Temperatures recorded in United States History, the Coldest Day in Continental United States History, and the Warmest Day recorded in the United States.

Coldest Day In US History: -80 Degrees F. Its no surprise that the coldest temperatures recorded in US history were logged in Alaska. The record came on January 23, 1971, at Prospect Creek. It’s along the oil pipeline.

Coldest Day in Continental US History: -70 F. This was recorded January 20, 1954 at a mining camp in Montana called Rogers Pass.

Warmest Days in US History: 134 F. Recorded at the Greenland Ranch in Death Valley on July 10, 1913. For a time, this also was the warmest recorded temperature in World History. It was surpassed less than ten years later, however, when a temperature of 136 was recorded in the Sahara Desert at Al Azizia, Libya, on Sept. 13, 1922.

Originally posted 2015-01-05 03:12:49.

Widest US Tornados

On Friday, May 31, 2013, an EF5 tornado near El Reno, Oklahoma was 2.6 miles wide. That is the widest ever recorded, and was more than twice the size of the storm which hit Moore, Oklahoma on May 20, 2013.

The old record width for a tornado was the 2.5 mile wide F-4 tornado at Wilber-Hallam, Neb., on May 22, 2004.

The El Reno storm was on the ground for 16.2 miles.

Sixty EF5 tornadoes have been recorded since the system was established in 1950.

Originally posted 2015-01-05 01:45:03.

The Worst US Winter Storms

The Worst US Winter Storms

1.
The Great Blizzard of 1888 (the Great White Hurricane)
March 11 – 14, 1888
Eastern United States

Snowfall of 40 to 50 inches was recorded over New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut as sustained winds created drifts as much as 50 feet tall. Total deaths are thought to have exceeded 400. Most of the cities on the eastern seaboard were shut down for days, if not weeks.

2.
The Storm of the Century
March 11 – 15, 1993
Eastern United States

This massive cyclonic storm had arms that at one point reached from Canada to Central America. More than 300 were killed.

Alabama and Georgia were hit by as much as six inches of snow. Areas further south received up to 16 inches of rain. Tornadoes and thunderstorms broke out all over the South.

In the northeast, record low temperatures were accompanied by large amounts of snow; some affected areas received as much as 3.5 feet, while drifts piled as high as 35 feet. Storm surges as high as twelve feet were recorded.

3.
The Great Appalachian Storm of 1950
Eastern United States
November 24 – 30, 1950

Heavy winds, rain and blizzard conditions followed an extratropical cyclone as it moved through the Eastern United States. Deaths totaled 353, and US insurance companies ended up paying more for damages than for any previous storm. Record cold was recorded in Florida (24 degrees F), Georgia (3 degrees F), Kentucky (-2 degrees F) among others.

4.
The Great Lakes Storm of 1913 (The Big Blow)
Nov 7 – 10, 1913
Midwestern US and Ontario Canada

Also known as the Freshwater Fury and the White Hurricane, the Big Blow may have been the worst US winter storm on record. It killed more than 250, primarily from ships that were sink. Five of the twelve ships downed by the storm were never found.

Caused by the convergence of two storm fronts over the Great Lakes’ relatively warm waters, the storm generated 60-90 mph winds that lasted as long as 16 hours. Wind driven waves rose to 35 feet and whiteouts covered the region. The cyclonic system, with its counterclockwise winds, was, in fact, a hurricane.

The storm was of the same type—a November gale—that famously sank the Edmund Fitzgerald in 1975.

5.
The Schoolhouse Blizzard (aka The Schoolchildren’s or Children’s Blizzard)
January 12, 1888
Great Plains States

This blizzard gets its name from the many schoolchildren who died when trapped in one room school houses. More than 230 are said to have died.

The tragedy of this storm was created by its suddenness, and by the warm conditions that immediately preceded it. Lulled into complacency by a balmy day, people ventured from their houses to do chores and head to town. Many were improperly dressed. Then, an arctic front crashed into moisture laden air from the Gulf of Mexico, bringing sudden drops of temperature to as low as -40 F, as well as large amounts of snow.

This was the first of two major blizzards in 1888.

6.
Armistice Day Blizzard
Midwestern United States
November 11 – 12, 1940

The Armistice Day Blizzard was an early storm that encompassed Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. Snowfall of up to 27 inches were combined with winds of 80 miles per hour, snow drifts of twenty feet and a fifty degree drop in temperature. The Blizzard surprised many hunters who were out for the beginning of duck season and had not prepared for such a storm. In Minnesota, twenty five hunters are said to have died. In all, 154 died in the storm, including 66 sailors on Lake Michigan.

7.
The Knickerbocker Storm
January 27 – 28, 1922
Upper South and Mid Atlantic States

This storm was named for the collapse of the Knickerbocker Theater in Washington, D.C., which killed 98 and injured 133. A storm cyclone which dropped as much as three feet of snow in Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania, the Knickerbocker affected 22,400 square miles of northeastern United States.

7. The Blizzards of 2010
February 5-6; February 9-10, 2010
Mid Atlantic States, Northeast

Affecting the entire eastern seaboard, these storms dumped as much as 40 inches each on the eastern United States.

8.
Blizzard of 1999
Midwestern United States
January 2 – 4, 1999

With 22 inches of snow in Chicago, the Blizzard of 1999 was rated at the time by the National Weather Service as the second worse to hit the Midwest in the 20th Century. Temperature as low as -20 degrees fahrenheit were recorded. Storm related deaths totaled 73 persons.

9.
The Great Blizzard of 1899
February 11 – 14, 1899
Continental United States

From Georgia to Maine, temperatures dropped to record temperatures. Tallahassee reached -2 F; Minden, Louisiana, -16 F; Camp Logan, Montana, -61F; Washignton, D.C., -15 F. Snowfall began in Florida and moved rapidly north. Washington, D.C. recorded 20 inches in a single day; New Jersey, 34 inches—still a record.

10.
The Great Storm of 1975
January 9 – 12, 1975
Central and Southeast US

This storm system resulted in snow in the midwest and 45 tornadoes in the southeast, together killing a total of 70 people. It began in the Pacific, crossed the Rockies, and then collided with an arctic air front and tropical moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. It produced record low barometric pressures in the midwestern United States.

Strangely, while the storm produced huge amounts of snow in the upper midwest, it also produced record high temperatures. More than a foot of snow fell from Nebraska to Minnesota, while sustained winds of 30 – 50 mph produced 20 foot snowdrifts. Meanwhile, in Chicago, Indianapols and Indiana, record high temperatures were set.

Originally posted 2015-01-05 02:49:36.

The Ten Deadliest US Wildfires

The Ten Deadliest Wildfires In US History
As Measured By the Number of Deaths

1.
Peshtigo, Wisconsin
October 8 – 14, 1871
More than 1,500 lives were lost and 3.8 million acres burned. The United States’ worse fire, however, is largely forgotten because it occurred at the same time as the more publicized Great Chicago Fire, which occurred on October 8 – 10, 1871. Interestingly, a similarly deadly fire occurred in Port Huron, Michigan on the same date.

2.
Cloquet, Minnesota
October 13 – 15, 1918
As many as 1,000 were killed (although some sources put the total at around 500) 52,000 injured or displaced and 250,000 acres destroyed.

3.
Hinkley, Minnesota
September 1, 1894
The Great Hinkley Fire burned 200,000 acres and may have killed as many as 800, although some put the total at just over 400. The towns of Mission Creek, Brook Park and Hinckley all were completely destoryed. Among the victims was Boston Corbett, the union soldier who killed John Wilkes Booth.

4.
Port Huron, Michigan
September 5, 1881
The Thumb Fire (named for Michigan’s east side thumb-shaped peninsula), burned more than 1 million acres and took 282 lives. This was the second major fire in the area in ten years.

5.
Port Huron, Michigan
October 8 – 21, 1871
The Port Huron fire of 1871 occurred simultaneously with the Peshtigo, Wisconsin fire and the Great Chicago Fire. It destroyed more than 1,200,000 acres and killed 200.

6.
Maine and New Brunswick, Canada
October 1825
Named after a river in Canada, the Miramichi fire burned 3 million acres and killed 160.

7.
Idaho and Montana
August 20 – 21, 1910
The Great Fire of 1910—also known as the Big Blow Up, or the Big Burn—ignited more than 3 million acres. It killed at least 85 people. The blaze created a firestorm that whipped up high winds which very quickly drove the fire forward.

8.
Oakland, California
October 20, 1991
Beginning as a grass fire, this firestorm destroyed 1,520 acres and killed 25.

9.
Southern California
October 2003
Multiple wildfires destroyed more than 800,000 acres and left 22 dead.

10.
Cleveland National Forest, San Diego, California
October 23 – November 3, 2003
Burning more than 230,000 acres, this fire killed 15.

Originally posted 2015-01-05 02:46:58.

Biggest US Wildfires

The Worst US Wildfires
The Biggest US Wildfires
As Measured By Acreage Consumed In The Blaze

1.
Peshtigo, Wisconsin
October 8 – 14, 1871
More than 1,500 lives were lost and 3.8 million acres burned. The United States’ worse fire, however, is largely forgotten because it occurred at the same time as the more publicized Great Chicago Fire, which occurred on October 8 – 10, 1871. Interestingly, a similarly deadly fire occurred in Port Huron, Michigan on the same date.

2.
Maine and New Brunswick, Canada
October 1825
Named after a river in Canada, the Miramichi fire burned 3 million acres and killed 160.

3.
Idaho and Montana
August 20 – 21, 1910
The Great Fire of 1910—also known as the Big Blow Up, or the Big Burn—ignited more than 3 million acres. It killed at least 85 people. The blaze created a firestorm that whipped up high winds which very quickly drove the fire forward.

4.
Port Huron, Michigan
October 8 – 21, 1871
The Port Huron fire of 1871 occurred simultaneously with the Peshtigo, Wisconsin fire and the Great Chicago Fire. It destroyed more than 1,200,000 acres and killed 200.

5.
Port Huron, Michigan
September 5, 1881
The Thumb Fire (named for Michigan’s east side thumb-shaped peninsula), burned more than 1 million acres and took 282 lives.

6.
Yellowstone National Park
Summer, 1988
A controlled burn that got out of control ultimately destroyed 800,000 acres of Yellowstone National Park.

7.
Southern California
October 2003
Multiple wildfires destroyed more than 800,000 acres and left 22 dead.

8.
Syskiyou National Forest, Oregon
July 12 – 15, 2002
Lightening strikes burned more than 500,000 acres in the Biscuit Creek area.

9.
Rodeo-Chediski, Arizona
June 18 – July 7, 2002
Two fires in Arizona merged to burn more than 467,066 acres.

10.
Southern California
October 2007
Multiple fires burned more than 375,000 acres in Southern California.

There also have been a number of fire “epidemics,” which occurred separately in several states over a spring and summer season. The worse, perhaps, occurred during the Spring and Summer of 2000, when fire spread over seven million acres in Alaska, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. A series of outbreaks in 2004 in Alaska burned more than 5 million acres. Wildfires in 2005-2006 in Oklahoma and Texas burned more

Originally posted 2015-01-05 02:38:37.