There are few forces of nature as furious as a hurricane. The largest storm system ever, hurricanes are so large, few know their iconic spin is created by the slow rotation of the planet. Classified by the power of their wind, the strongest hurricanes can clock speeds of over 150 miles-per-hour. The untold destruction hurricanes can visit on populated areas is staggering; able to flatten trees and homes with the force of an atomic bomb. Below are some of the strongest hurricanes that have ever blown.
Galveston Hurricane: August 27, 1900 was one of the most powerful storms to hit Texas at the time. First making landfall in Galveston on September 8th, this Category 4 hurricane turned inland. Sweeping over the Great Plans, the 100 mph winds wrought destruction unlike anything the United States had ever seen. Responsible for over 12,000 deaths, this storm cost the United States over $30 million (in 1900’s dollars) worth in damages.
Great Miami Hurricane: September 11th, 1926 saw Miami facing their greatest storm to date. Winds were reported to reach 150 mph as the system swept over the city.The tragedy of this storm was in the lack of forewarning, costing the people of Miami greatly. The cyclone made landfall with the highest winds ever recorded in the United States at the time, and the barometric pressure plummeted. Those who survived the initial onslaught mistakenly left the safety of their homes as the eye of the storm passed overhead, leading to even more casualties. Every building in downtown Miami was destroyed. Every. Single. Building.
Hurricanes Carol & Edna: The East Coast had a hard year in 1954. August 30th and a Category 3 hurricane named Carol crashed into Long Island and New York. Winds upward of 100 mph battered the coastal cities, swelling tides to over 8 feet and swallowing downtown Providence, Rhode Island. Just two days after Carol made landfall, Edna rolled over a nearly identical trajectory. A category 3, Edna blasted an already battered are with 120 mph winds. After the rubble settled, 20 people had lost their lives, and over $40 million in damages had been visited over the greater Eastern Seaboard.
Hurricane Katrina 2005: You can scarcely talk about the terrible force of a hurricane without mentioning the devastation of Katrina. A category 3 hurricane according to the Saffir-Simpson scale, Katrina had just been a Cat 5 before making landfall. The storm surge off land raised the already high water levels, stressing the levees. Over 80% of historic New Orleans was swallowed by the sea, and Katrina claimed over 1,800 lives and cost the United States $125 billion in damages.