Hurricanes can only form in a select area of the planet, the Southeastern United States is right in that path.
A hurricane begins innocently enough in the ocean, in water warmer than 80 degrees (26`C) up to 150 feet down. Add in a warm breeze that skims the top of the water and carries the vapor on tropical winds. When that water vapor condenses into a cyclical cloud, a complicated process of heating and cooling forces these clouds to spawn thunderstorms and fierce winds. If the conditions are right, that simple patch of warm ocean water can hit land as the most powerful storm on Earth, a hurricane.
Here are some of the most destructive hurricanes to hit the U.S.
10. Hurricane Ike 2008
When Ike made landfall in Galveston, Texas it was a mere Category 2 hurricane. That may not sound like much but Ike still did some work. 21 people lost their lives and nearly $30 billion in damage had been done to Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas. (ark-an-saw)
9. Hurricane Charley 2004
Hurricane Charley smashed into Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda, continuing across central Florida. Even in Orlando, gusts reached above 100 miles an hour. Charley eventually turned into a severe tornado that hit Daytona Beach causing serious havoc and costing taxpayers $15 billion and killed around 10 United States citizens.
8. The 1938 Hurricane
It wasn’t until 1953 that the US government began naming hurricanes after vengeful ladies. Regardless of its name, the 1938 hurricane arrived in Long Island, raising the waters and washing out more than 150 Westhampton homes. Gusts exceeded 180 miles an hour in Boston, and the water in Providence rose to 14 feet before receding. Ultimately, 256 people were killed.
7. The Labor Day Hurricane 1935
This Category 5 storm, was the most intense storm ever, but since September, now shares that title with Hurricane Irma. As it passed over the Bahamas, the hurricane was a small Category 1. However, the storm swelled rapidly, reaching the highest designation for a hurricane when it hit Florida Keys, sustaining winds up to 185 miles per hour. More than 400 people died in the resulting catastrophe.
6. The Lake Okeechobee Hurricane 1928
In 1928, a Category 5 hurricane hit the United States, causing Florida’s Lake Okeechobee to overflow, drowning the surrounding area in 15 feet of water. Dozens of houses were swept away and at least 2,500 people were thought to have drowned in the chaos.
5. Hurricane Camille 1969
It’s possible that ’s Hurricane Camille is the most powerful hurricane ever to hit the US, but we’ll never know, as it destroyed all of the equipment that typically measures wind speed as it rolled over the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. In its path, the storm caused the Mississippi River to rise to 24 feet. More than 140 people died and another 100 more in the floods that were so severe they reached Virginia.
4. The Miami Hurricane of 1926
When the Miami Hurricane entered the city, there was a brief 35-minute lull where the storm seemed to disappear. This brought the residents of Miami out of hiding thinking the storm had passed. As the city heaved a collective sigh of relief, the storm descended once more. Ultimately, 372 people died and more than $105 million in damage was done.
3. The Galveston Hurricane 1900
Though the hurricane only rated as a Category 4, as many as 12,000 people lost their lives. The coast of Galveston rose to more than 20 feet and washed away more than 3,000 houses. The hurricane was so powerful that it even made it as far inland as the Great Lakes.
2. Hurricane Katrina 2005
At Category 3, Katrina was expected to peter out quickly — that didn’t happen. Instead, the storm picked up intensity causing the Gulf Coast to surge as high as 28 feet. The waves made it as far as 12 miles inland before finally rolling back. Most horrifically, the force of the storm surge critically damaged the levees protecting New Orleans. Eighty percent of the city was flooded for six full weeks. Thousands were left homeless and 1,577 people lost their lives.
1. Hurricane Harvey 2017
Though it only struck a few weeks ago, the initial estimates are already calling Hurricane Harvey the costliest and most destructive storm in the history of the country. Not only has the oil and gas industry been seriously crippled, thousands of people have been forced to abandon their homes. Experts are putting the cost at just around $100 billion.
Have you ever experienced a Tropical Storm?
Or even a Hurricane?
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