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Hurricane Statistics Fast Facts


CNN Editorial Research

Here’s a look at hurricane statistics.

Notable Hurricanes in Recent US History

October 7-11, 2018 – Hurricane Michael

Category 5 storm. Made landfall in Florida near Mexico Beach and the Tyndall Air Force Base.

The hurricane was designated as a Category 4 storm when it made landfall in Florida but a post storm analysis revealed that winds reached 160 mph, prompting the upgrade by the National Hurricane Center. It is rare for category 5 storms to directly hit the mainland United States.

The storm’s atmospheric pressure was 919 millibars at landfall, the third lowest pressure on record for a hurricane hitting the United States in modern times.

The town of Mexico Beach was devastated by the storm. Out of 1,692 buildings in town, 1,584 buildings were reported damaged, with 809 of those reported destroyed. At the Tyndall Air Force Base, all buildings in the complex were reported damaged.

The storm directly caused at least 16 deaths in Florida, Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia.

September 16-30, 2017 – Hurricane Maria

Category 5 storm. Made landfall on the island of Dominica as a Category 5 hurricane and hit Puerto Rico as a Category 4 hurricane.

The official death toll after the storm was 64 in Puerto Rico but investigations by CNN and other news organizations indicated there may have been more than 1,000 storm-related fatalities on the island.

The Puerto Rican government raised Maria’s death toll from 64 to 2,975 after a report on storm fatalities was published in August 2018 by researchers at George Washington University.

Earlier, an academic report published in the New England Journal of Medicine estimated 4,645 people died during the storm and its aftermath. The article’s authors called Puerto Rico’s official death toll of 64 a “substantial underestimate.” However, the death toll cited in the article was a midpoint estimate based on a limited survey of 3,299 households. The survey indicated that the number of people who died in the storm’s wake could range from 793 to 8,498.

Additionally, 31 people were killed in Dominica as a direct result of the storm. Deaths were also reported in St. Thomas, the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Three people drowned due to rip currents off the coast of New Jersey and a fourth drowning death was reported in Florida.

Massive damage to the aging electrical grid led to widespread outages that stretched on for months.

August 30-September 12, 2017 Hurricane Irma

Category 5 storm. Made seven landfalls, including four as a Category 5 hurricane across islands in the northern Caribbean. Hit the Florida Keys as a Category 4 storm and made landfall in southwestern Florida as a Category 3 storm.

More than six million Florida residents were ordered to evacuate ahead of the storm.

Irma directly caused at least 47 deaths in the Caribbean Islands and the southeastern United States.

August 17-September 1, 2017 Hurricane Harvey

Category 4 storm. Made first landfall near Rockport, Texas as a Category 4 hurricane and churned along the Texas coast for four days, causing devastating flooding. Its remnants later made another landfall in southwestern Louisiana.

It set a record for the most rainfall from a tropical cyclone in the continental United States, with 51 inches of rain recorded in areas of Texas. An estimated 27 trillion gallons of water fell over Texas and Louisiana during a six-day period.

At least 68 direct storm-related fatalities were reported in Texas, the highest hurricane death toll in the state since 1919.

October 22-29, 2012 – Hurricane Sandy

Category 3 storm. Made landfall in Cuba as a Category 2. Hit New Jersey as a post-tropical cyclone.

Path included Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba and the coastlines of New Jersey and New York.

An extraordinarily large storm, with tropical storm-force winds extending 870 nautical miles in diameter.

At least 147 direct deaths, including 72 in the United States, 54 in Haiti, 11 in Cuba, three in the Dominican Republic, two in the Bahamas, one in Canada, one in Jamaica, one in Puerto Rico and two maritime deaths.

August 21-September 1, 2012 – Hurricane Isaac

Category 1 storm

Path included Haiti, Cuba, southern Mississippi and southeastern Louisiana.

The direct death toll from Isaac was estimated to be 34 fatalities in the United States, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

August 20-29, 2011 – Hurricane Irene

Category 3 storm. Made landfall in eastern North Carolina as a Category 1.

Death toll directly attributed to Irene was 48, with five in the Dominican Republic, three in Haiti and 40 in the United States.

October 29-November 7, 2010 – Hurricane Tomas

Category 2 storm. Hit St. Lucia as a Category 1.

Affected areas included St. Lucia, Barbados, St. Vincent, the Grenadines, Curacao, and Haiti.

Death toll of 44 in the Lesser and Greater Antilles.

September 1-14, 2008 – Hurricane Ike

Category 4 storm. Made landfall over the Turks and Caicos Islands as a Category 4. Hit Galveston Island, Texas as a Category 2.

Path included Turks and Caicos Islands, Cuba, Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas.

Direct death toll was 103 across Hispaniola, Cuba and the Gulf Coast of the United States.

October 15-25, 2005 – Hurricane Wilma

Category 5 storm. Made landfall over Cozumel, Mexico as a Category 4. Later, made landfall near Cape Romano, Florida as a Category 3.

Death toll directly attributed to Wilma was 23, with five in the United States, 12 in Haiti, four in Mexico, one in Jamaica and one in the Bahamas

September 20-24, 2005 – Hurricane Rita

Category 5 storm. Made landfall near the border of Louisiana and Texas as a Category 3.

Death toll directly attributed to Rita was seven.

August 25-29, 2005 – Hurricane Katrina

Category 5 storm. Hit Florida as a Category 1. Hit Buras, Louisiana as a Category 3.

Path included Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana.

Direct and indirect death toll in the United States was 1,833.

September 2-24, 2004 – Hurricane Ivan

Category 5 storm. Hit Grenada as a Category 3.

Affected areas included the Gulf Coast of the United States, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Caribbean islands.

Death toll directly attributed to Ivan was 92, with 25 in the United States, 39 in Grenada, 17 in Jamaica, four in the Dominican Republic, three in Venezuela, two in the Cayman Islands, one in Tobago and one in Barbados

August 25-September 8, 2004 – Hurricane Frances

Category 3 storm. Hit the Bahamas as a Category 3 storm and Florida as a Category 2 storm.

Affected areas included Florida and Caribbean islands.

Death toll directly attributed to Frances was seven: six in the United States and one in the Bahamas

August 9-14, 2004 – Hurricane Charley

Category 4 storm. Made landfall in Cuba as a Category 3. Hit Florida as a Category 4.

Path included Grand Cayman Islands, Cuba, Florida and South Carolina.

Death toll directly attributed to Charley in the United States was 10.

August 16-28, 1992 – Hurricane Andrew

Category 5 storm (reclassified in 2005). Originally believed to be a Category 4.

Path included northwestern Bahamas, Florida and Louisiana.

Direct death toll was 26: 23 in the United States and three in the Bahamas

September 10-22, 1989 – Hurricane Hugo

Category 5 storm. Made landfall in both the Leeward Islands and later South Carolina as a Category 4.

Path included the Caribbean Islands (Puerto Rico), South Carolina, and North Carolina.

Death toll directly attributed to Hugo was 49. Of those deaths, 26 were in the mainland United States, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

Direct Hits by Hurricanes to US Mainland 1851-2020

TOTAL: 298

Major hurricanes between 1851 and 2020 (Categories 3, 4, 5): 92

The Ten Deadliest Hurricanes in the Mainland United States

(The government began naming storms in 1953)
Place – Year – Category – Direct death toll
1. Galveston, TX – 1900 – 4 – between 8,000 and 12,000
2. Southeastern FL – 1928 – 4 – between 2,500 and 3,000
3. Louisiana/Mississippi (Katrina) – 2005 – 3 – 1,200
4. Louisiana – 1893 – 4 – 1100-1400
5. South Carolina/Georgia – 1893 – 3 – 1000-1200
6. Georgia/South Carolina – 1881 – 2 – 700
7. Louisiana/Texas (Audrey) – 1957 – 4 – 416
8. Florida Keys – 1935 – 5 – 408
9. Louisiana – 1856 – 4 – 400
10. Florida – 1926 – 4 – 372

The 10 Costliest Hurricanes and Tropical/Post-Tropical Storms in the United States – 1900-2021

Based on the 2021 Consumer Price Index adjusted cost
Name – Year – Category or Type – Damage
1. Katrina – 2005 – 3 – $172.5 billion
1. Harvey – 2017 – 4 – $133.8 billion
3. Maria – 2017 – 4 – $96.3 billion
4. Sandy – 2012 – 1 – $75.4 billion
5. Irma – 2017 – 4 – $53.5 billion
6. Andrew – 1992 – 5 – $51.3 billion
7. Ike – 2008 – 2 – $37.5 billion
8. Ivan – 2004 – 3 – $29.1 billion
9. Wilma – 2005 – 3 – $26.2 billion
10. Michael – 2018 – 5 – $26 billion

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