Hurricane Season Is the Worst in History It was officially declared on Monday, September 26, 2005, that this is the worst hurricane season in recorded history. "Hurricane Katrina [is] the most expensive natural catastrophe in our nation's history," historian Eric Gross writes, "even when losses are converted to a constant-dollar amount to account for inflation over time." The direct economic cost of Hurricane Katrina has been estimated at $70 billion (2005 dollars).
The number of deaths directly caused by hurricanes and tropical storms has declined over the past few decades. However, since 1980, more than 8,000 people have died in America's hurricanes and tropical storms.
The deadliest year was 1960, when 59 people died. By far, the deadliest season was 1900, when 222 people lost their lives.
Katrina broke all previous records for damage from a single storm. It was the costliest hurricane in American history and one of the five most costly hurricanes in global history. The other four are all United States hurricanes: Florida in 1926, Texas in 1961, Puerto Rico in 1918, and Cuba in 1933.
Catastrophic events such as hurricanes cause death, destruction, and displacement across large areas. Such events can also affect the environment through changes to land use or habitat loss. Hurricane Katrina was responsible for up to $100 million in environmental damage to wildlife, fish, and plant life in Louisiana.
Katrina was the most expensive hurricane in US history. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Katrina was the most expensive storm in US history, causing $125 billion in total damage. It also ranked as the second deadliest Atlantic hurricane on record, only behind Camille in 1969.
While it is difficult to compare one storm with another, NOAA has officially rated several other hurricanes as being more damaging than Katrina. The agency uses two main factors when ranking storms: loss of life and economic impact. Hurricane Harvey in 2017 was considered the costliest hurricane in US history; it caused over 600 deaths and $120 billion in damage. Before that, Sandy had been listed as the most costly hurricane in US history. She killed 112 people and caused $70 billion in damage.
Katrina killed approximately 1,200 people. It also destroyed much of the infrastructure in its path. By comparison, Hurricane Harvey killed 67 people and injured more than 400 others. It caused about $180 billion in damage. Sandy killed 102 people and injured more than 6500 others. It caused about $75 billion in damage.
In addition to the death and destruction, hurricanes can cause significant economic damage through lost business operations and damaged property. After Katrina, Louisiana suffered a loss of income of $28 billion due to demolished homes and businesses.
The Worst Storms to Ever Hit the United States
Katrina 1. Katrina cost $170 billion in 2005. Katrina, by far the most expensive hurricane in US history, made landfall as a Category 1 storm on August 25, 2005, near the Dade-Broward County boundary in Florida. The initial damage estimate from federal officials was $100 million, but later estimates were much higher. One study concluded that the true cost of Katrina may be as high as $180 billion.
How did Hurricane Katrina become so costly? It started with floodwater destroying much of New Orleans' infrastructure, including its power grid. Without electricity, people had no way to cool off in their homes or keep food fresh. Plus, many public services, such as police and fire departments, stopped working during the storm. All together, this left many residents vulnerable to crime and other hazards.
After the storm passed, federal officials struggled to bring electricity back to New Orleans. The task proved too big for local authorities alone; it took them months to get the city back on its feet. Meanwhile, people were still living in damaged houses more than nine months after the hurricane hit. This is because it can take years to find and approve construction projects that meet federal standards following a major disaster like Katrina.
In addition to flood damage and delayed reconstruction, Katrina also caused economic loss. About 800 businesses closed in New Orleans immediately after the storm.
Hurricane Katrina killed 1,833 people and was the most expensive hurricane in US history, costing $161 billion. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, it was "the single most destructive natural catastrophe in US history."
The damage done by Hurricane Harvey is also being counted as a major disaster for 2017, with at least 68 deaths reported. The cost of recovery has been estimated at $120 million.
These disasters caused more than $215 billion in damage.
Another huge storm that caused widespread destruction and loss of life was El Niño-related Typhoon Kirk (known in the Philippines as Pablo). It killed around 7,000 people in 1998. Flooding from Kirk caused an outbreak of Ebola in the Philippines, which infected over 50 people.
In addition, several tropical storms and hurricanes have died very young, less than a year old. In 2005, Greta became the first major hurricane ever detected while inside the Arctic Circle. The other two Arctic Hurricanes were Boris in 2013 and Karl in 2015.
Greta killed one person and caused $90 million in damage.
These are the five most powerful hurricanes to make landfall in the United States.
2017 might be on par with Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the most expensive hurricane in US history, especially when compared to other deadly hurricanes that have hit the US since 2000. Two unnamed girls walk through the flooded streets of Everglades City, Fla., following Hurricane Wilma's passage on Monday, Oct. 24, 2005. The damage caused by Hurricane Wilma has been estimated at $20 billion (2005 dollars).
With a death toll of over 1,800 people, Hurricane Katrina is still the deadliest storm in American history. It also made landfall as a Category 5 hurricane, the strongest level on the Saffir-Simpson scale at the time. Although estimates vary, this year's storms probably kill dozens or even hundreds more people than Katrina did.
In addition to the deaths, many people suffered serious injuries due to Hurricane Katrina. New Orleans' public hospital system had to be evacuated because of damage caused by the hurricane and its aftermath. Around 7,000 citizens were left homeless after their homes were destroyed or damaged. Much of the city looked like this after Hurricane Katrina passed through in August 2005.
After making its first landfall in Louisiana, Hurricane Katrina moved inland across southern Mississippi and then back out to sea, finally hitting Alabama with heavy rain and high winds before dissipating on Tuesday, Aug. 29.