Hurricanes are violent wind storms and are among the most destructive forces in nature. Hurricanes have been the cause of massive damage to various regions and have caused several thousands deaths each year. Some hurricanes are small and do relatively little damage while others are giant, causing much mayhem. Some can cause massive water damage to homes. While they may vary in size and speed, each is deadly in its own right. Below are the top 15 costliest hurricanes of all time that mankind has endured till date:
15. Hurricane Floyd (1999)
Hurricane Floyd was a very powerful 1999 Cape Verde type hurricane that was initially forecasted to strike Florida but had changed course and hit the Bahamas instead at the peak of its strength, causing massive damage.
Although the hurricane itself didn’t do much of the damage, the left over rainwater flooded the East Basin for an all-time high level. Floyd was a category 4 hurricane that had cost America $6.9 billion in terms of damage.
14. Hurricane Hugo (1989)
Hurricane Hugo was another Cape Verde-type hurricane from 1989 that was more rare and powerful than its Floyd sibling. The hurricane hit the Leeward Islands and the Southeast United States with a destructive force that resulted in the loss of 56 precious lives.
Hurricane Hugo was formed near the Cape Verde Islands on September 9, 1989 but had moved thousands of miles across the Atlantic, all the while attaining enough strength to be classified as a category 5 hurricane. Hugo cost the economy $8.5 billion in damage and was regarded as the most costliest hurricane of its time.
13. Hurricane Jeanne (2004)
Hurricane Jeanne was the most deadly hurricane of the 2004 Atlantic hurricane season. After wreaking havoc on Hispaniola, the hurricane eventually strengthened and performed a loop over the open Atlantic. Having been the successor to two other recent hurricanes, Jeanne added to the severity of the damaged area.
Jeanne alone however, being a category 3 hurricane caused US a damage of $7.66 billion and was the reason for the deaths of at least 3,035 people in Haiti.
12. Tropical Storm Allison (2001)
Although not technically a hurricane, Allison came close to becoming one due to its intensity. Nonetheless, Tropical Storm Allison hit the southeast part of Texas in the June 2001 Atlantic hurricane season. The storm had developed from a tropical wave in the northern Gulf of Mexico and hit the upper Texas coast shortly thereafter.
Allison’s damage was estimated to be around $9 billion while its death toll was approximately limited at 50 lives.
11. Hurricane Georges (1998)
Hurricane Georges was a Cape Verde type, category 4 hurricane that caused property damage of up to $9.81 billion and killed approximately 604 people, mainly in the island of Hispaniola.
The hurricane made landfall in at least seven different countries, a feat that no other hurricane has accomplished since 1966 hurricane season.
10. Hurricane Frances (2004)
A particularly damaging hurricane, Frances hit Puerto Rico in 2004 and the British Virgin Islands while passing north of the Caribbean Sea. The storm’s maximum speed peaked at 145 miles per hour easily secured its category 4 status.
Frances was the first hurricane to impact the entire Bahamian archipelago since 1866 and destroyed their agricultural economy. It killed 49 people and lead to $9.85 billion in property damages.
9. Hurricane Rita (2005)
Hurricane Rita was a category 5 hurricane from 2005 that killed 62 people and caused property damage of up to a whopping $12 billion dollars. Hurricane Rita was the 4th most intense Atlantic hurricane in history and the strongest tropical cyclone ever observed in the Gulf of Mexico.
Forming near the Bahamas, it entered an environment of abnormally warm waters and rapidly intensified. It made landfall on Sabine Pass causing heavy damage to Texas.
8. Hurricane Charley (2004)
Hurricane Charley is another 2004 Atlantic Hurricane Season storm. Being a category 4 hurricane, Charley lasted from August 9 to August 15, and attained a top speed of 150 mph. The storm made landfall in southwestern Florida at maximum strength, and was the strongest hurricane to hit the United States since Hurricane Andrew struck Florida twelve years before, in 1992.
Charley resulted in the deaths of 40 people and caused damage valued at $15.10 billion.