Deadliest hurricanes on record to hit US

A car is crushed by a huge tree after Hurricane Harvey struck in Rockport, on Aug 26, 2017.
A car is crushed by a huge tree after Hurricane Harvey struck in Rockport, on Aug 26, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

Hurricane Harvey struck coastal Texas last Friday evening as the most powerful storm to hit the United States mainland in more than a decade, bringing the potential for record flooding from a storm surge and rainfall.

The following are the deadliest hurricanes to make landfall in the US since 1851, the earliest year for which the National Weather Service (NWS) keeps such data:

GALVESTON HURRICANE, 1900

The Category 4 storm, which made landfall in Galveston, Texas, ranks as the deadliest weather disaster in US history. It killed at least 8,000 people, said the NWS.

OKEECHOBEE HURRICANE, 1928

The Category 4 storm made landfall in Palm Beach County, Florida. An estimated 2,500 people died, but the figure could be as high as 3,000, according to the NWS.

HURRICANE KATRINA, 2005

It made a direct hit on New Orleans as a Category 3 storm, causing levees and flood walls to fail inmany places. Over 1,800 people died.

THE CHENIERE CAMINADA HURRICANE, 1893

The Category 4 storm, also known as the Great October Storm, struck an island off the coast of Louisiana. Nearly 2,000 people died, including those killed in boats offshore.

SEA ISLANDS HURRICANE, 1893

The Category 3 hurricane struck near Savannah, Georgia, before veering into South Carolina. It came at high tide, producing a storm surge 4.9m tall. An estimated 1,100 to 2,000 people died.

GEORGIA-SOUTH CAROLINA HURRICANE, 1881

The Category 2 hurricane made landfall on Ossabaw Island off the coast of Georgia and also wreaked havoc in Savannah and parts of South Carolina. It killed an estimated 700 people.

ATLANTIC-GULF HURRICANE, 1919

As a Category 4 storm, the eye of the hurricane passed just south of the Florida Keys, an archipelago off the southern coast of Florida, before striking the Gulf Coast in Texas as a Category 3 storm. It killed an estimated 600 people.

THE GREAT NEW ENGLAND HURRICANE, 1938

The Category 3 storm made landfall in Long Island and Connecticut. It caused about 600 deaths, including offshore fatalities.

HURRICANE AUDREY, 1957

The Category 4 hurricane struck near the Texas-Louisiana border, unleashing storm surges that reached up to 40km inland in the low-lying areas, according to the National Weather Service. It killed more than 400 people.

FLORIDA KEYS LABOUR DAY HURRICANE, 1935

The storm ripped through the Florida Keys as a Category 5 storm. It then moved north just off the western coast of Florida before turning inland and making landfall as a Category 2 storm. More than 400 people died.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 27, 2017, with the headline 'Deadliest hurricanes on record to hit US'. Print Edition | Subscribe