Tag Archives: United States

Worst Spree Killers In the United States

Worst US Spree Killings

The FBI classifies a “spree killer” as having committed two or more murders without a cooling off period. This distinguishes spree killers from serial killers. Here is a list of the worst spree killers in modern history from the United States

1.
Blacksburg, Virginia, 2007
Seung-Hui Cho kills 32 on the campus of Virginia Tech. Commits suicide.

2.
Killeen, Texas, 1991
George Jo Hennard drove his truck into Luby’s diner, then killed 23 with a pair of pistols before committing suicide.

3.
San Ysidro, California, 1984
James Oliver Huberty killed 21 in a local McDonald’s with a submachine gun and rifle before being killed by police.

4.
Edmond, Oklahoma, 1986
Patrick Sherrill, an angry postal worker, killed 14 at the post office before killing himself.

5.
Austin, Texas, 1966
Charles Whitman kills 14 at the University of Texas with a rifle before being killed by a police sniper.

6.
Fort Hood – Killeen, Texas, 2009
Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan is accused of killing 13 and wounding 30 before bring brought down by a police officer.

7.
Camden, NJ, 1949
Howard Unreh, a WWII veteran, kills 13 with a captured Luger. He was arrested and committed to an asylum for the insane. He died in 2009. He is considered by some criminologists to be the first “spree” killer in modern US history.

8.
Littleton, Colorado, 1999
Eric Harris and Dylon Klebold shoot thirteen before killing themselves.

9.
Geneva County, Alabama, 2009
Michael McLendon kills ten, and then himself with a handgun and rifle.

10.
Red Lake, Minnesota, 2005
Jeff Wiese kills nine and then himself on the Red Lake reservation. Seven were killed at a school.

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

The Worst US Mining Disasters

The Top US Mining Disasters
As Measured By Casualties

The Top Ten US Mining Disasters

Coal mining is a dangerous, but vital business. Roof collapses, gas and dust explosions and the heavy equipment are just some of the dangers faced by these brave men.

1.
December 6, 1907
Monongah, West Virginia

361 casualties. The worst mining disaster in US history occurred when shafts 6 and 8 of a Consolidated Coal Company mine exploded. The explosion, which was apparently caused by methane gas, disabled the ventilation system causing the buildup of deadly gases.

2.
October 22, 1913
Dawson, NM

This coal mine explosion killed 263.

3.
November 13, 1909
Cherry, Illinois

A bale of hay accidentally ignites, setting the coal mine on fire. The death toll for miners and would-be rescuers reached 259.

4.
December 10, 1907
Jacobs Creek, Pennsylvania

In the same year as the Monongah mine disaster, 239 miners were killed in a separate disaster in Pennsylvania.

5.
May 1, 1900
Scofield, Utah

When a cache of blasting powder in a copper mine accidentally ignited, 200 were killed.

6.
May 19, 1928
Mather, Pennsylvania

An explosion in the No. 1 coal mine killed 195.

7.
May 19, 1902
Coal Creek, Tennessee

A methane gas buildup caused an explosion that killed 184.

8.
April 28, 1914
Eccles, WV

An explosion at the No. 5 mine killed 181.

9.
January 25, 1904
Springdale Township, Pennsylvania

When the Harwick mine explodes, 179 are killed.

10.
March 8, 1924
Castle Gate, Utah

Inadequate watering of coal dust was blamed for an explosion that killed 172.

The Deadliest US Volcanic Eruptions

The Deadliest US Volcanic Eruptions

The Worst US Volcanic Eruptions

1.
Mount St. Helens, Washington State
May 18, 1980
Death Toll: 57

The 1980 eruption created a debris avalance of about 0.7 cubic miles in volume, killing 57 and destroying more than 200 homes.

2.
Novarupta, Alaska
1912
Death Toll: 0

The 1912 Novarupta was the largest volcanic explosion of the 20th Century. Ten times more powerful than the eruption of Mt. St. Helens, it ejected 9.2 square miles of debris.

The Deadliest US Floods

Worst US Floods
The Deadliest US Floods By Death Toll
The disasters listed here exclude hurricane-caused flooding. See the list of deadliest US hurricanes for these.

1.
Johnstown, PA
May 31, 1889
Death Toll: 2,200

Several days of extremely heavy rainfall, brought about the collapse of the South Fork Dam, which was 14 miles upstream of Johnstown, PA. It was the first major disaster relief effort handled by the new American Red Cross, led by Clara Barton. Support for victims came from all over the United States and 18 foreign countries. It remains one of the greatest disasters in U.S. history.

The Johnstown Flood also became a social cause celebre, because the dam that collapsed had been built to create a lake for vacationing millionaires, such as Andrew Carnegie and Andrew Mellon, while the inhabitants of the town were Welsh and German immigrants.

2.
Mississippi Valley
January and February 1937
Death Toll: 1,100

Heavy rains flooded 12,700 square miles, destroying 75,000 homes, and leaving 600,000 refugees.

3.
Ohio River
March, 1913
Death Toll: 700

Heavy rains brought severe flooding. The disaster led to the nation’s first flood control board and programs.

4.
Santa Paula, CA
March 12, 1928
Death Toll: 450

Collapse of the St. Francis Dam

5.
Rapid City, SD
June 9 – 10, 1972
Death Toll: 237
Flash flood

6.
Kansas City, Missouri
May 16 – June 1, 1903
Death Toll: 200

Heavy rains brought flooding that raised the level of the Missouri River 35 feet.

7.
Mississippi Valley
April – May 1912
Death Toll: 200

The Mississippi River overflows its banks.

8.
Willow Creek, OR
1903
Death Toll: 200
Flash flood sweeps away a third of the town.

9.
Man, WV
Feb. 26, 1972
Death Toll: 118
Slag pile dam collapses under torrential rains.

10.
Loveland, CO
August 1, 1976
Death Toll: 139
Flash flood in Big Thompson Canyon

The Worst US Earthquakes By Death Toll

The Worst US Earthquakes
Deadliest US Earthquakes

As Measured By Death Toll

The United States’ Worst Earthquakes
As Measured By Death Toll

1.
The Great San Francisco Earthquake
April 18, 1906
Magnitude: 7.8
Death Toll: 3,000

The Great San Francisco Earthquake is by far the deadliest ever to hit the United States.

2.
Aleutian Islands, Alaska
April 1, 1946
Magnitude: 8.1
Death Toll: 165

Most of the deaths from this earthquake were in Hawaii, as the resulting tsumami killed 159. Five were killed in Alaska; 1 in California.

3.
The Good Friday Earthquake
Prince William Sound, Alaska
March 28, 1964
Magnitude: 9.2
Death Toll: 125

The strongest earthquake to ever hit the United States caused a tsunami that killed 98 in Alaska, 11 in California, and one in Oregon. Fifteen were killed in Alaska as a direct result of the quake. The effects of the quake were felt worldwide: several fishing boats were reported sunk off of Louisiana, and wells were seen sloshing water in South Africa.

4.
Long Beach, California
March 11, 1933
Magnitude: 6.3
Death Toll: 115

Poor building design led to the deaths of 115 as people were killed by falling debris as they ran out of buildings. The quake led to a mandate in California that scool buildings be earthquake resistant.

5.
Hawaii Island, Hawaii
April 3, 1868
Magnitude: 7.9
Death Toll: 77

Thirty one died from landslides; 46 from the resulting tsunami.

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.