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Hurrians Timeline

Hurrians Timeline


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View more than 150 years of hurricane tracking data in your region. Shown here: Category 4 and 5 hurricane tracks that crossed over the state of Florida between 1910 and 2018.

NOAA's Historical Hurricane Tracks is a free online tool that allows users to track the paths of historic hurricanes. The site, developed by the NOAA Office for Coastal Management in partnership with NOAA's National Hurricane Center and National Centers for Environmental Information, offers data and information on coastal county hurricane strikes through 2016. It also provides links to detailed reports on the life histories and effects of U.S. tropical cyclones since 1958, with additional U.S. storm paths traced as far back as 1851. The site also contains global hurricane data from as far back as 1851.

Historical Hurricane Tracks allows users to search by place name, storm name or year, or latitude and longitude points. With the search results, users can generate a map showing the track of the storm or storms accompanied by a table of related information.


The Great New England Hurricane of 1938

In 1938, the setup of the National Weather Service was very different than it is today. It was called the U.S. Weather Bureau and there were numerous smaller offices across the country that were added slowly in the future. At this time, the Jacksonville, FL Weather Bureau office issued hurricane information and gale warnings north to Cape Hatteras. Thereafter, the Hurricane Center in Washington, D.C. issued the warnings and information through the coast of Maine. The local office in 1938 was located in the Whitehall Building in Battery Place in downtown Manhattan.

Also, when the Weather Bureau issued Gale and Storm warnings, they indicated what direction the wind was coming from. When you see "northeast storm warnings," that means the wind will be coming out of the northeast.

All times listed are in Eastern Standard Time.

The frontal system that will help the hurricane pass over Long Island is already dropping copious amounts of rainfall on Long Island and across the northeast.

  • Center of the hurricane was just north of Puerto Rico. At this time, the Jacksonville Weather Bureau office believed the hurricane would hit Florida.
  • Hurricane located 650 miles east-southeast of Miami. Northeast storm warnings issued from Key West, FL to Jacksonville, FL.

The northeast was still more concerned by the heavy rainfall and potential river flooding.

  • The hurricane is now showing a slight turn to the northwest. Caution continues to be urged for the Florida coast.

Rain and fog continue over the Northeast with little concern for the hurricane. Rivers were rising rapidly due to the high amount of rainfall associated with the front.

  • The hurricane is now located about 350 miles east of Daytona Beach, FL. The Jacksonville office is indicating that the storm will speed up and take a turn to the north or northeast.
  • Advisory issued from the Jacksonville office mentioning the "severe hurricane". The hurricane central pressure was close to 28.00" and about 400 miles east of Jacksonville, FL moving due north. Storm warnings now extend up to Atlantic City, NJ.

Because the Jacksonville office had told all mariners to stay off the waters, there were very few reports of the hurricane's exact strength and location.

After later analysis of the storm, it turns out the hurricane was actually 60 miles farther north and slightly more east.

  • Center of hurricane now approximately 140 miles ENE of Cape Hatteras. This will be the last advisory from the Jacksonville office.

No alerts or warnings issued north of Atlantic City yet.

  • Washington office takes over and issues northeast storm warnings north of Atlantic City and south of Block Island and southeast storm warnings from Block Island to Eastport, Maine. This advisory now called the hurricane a tropical storm and had it centered 75 miles from Cape Hatteras. It was actually further away from Cape Hatteras than written in the advisory. The storm was also much larger and stronger than anticipated.

The NYC office, at this point, has not received a single piece of information about the exact location or strength of the storm.

  • Washington office issued an advisory with no mention of a hurricane or tropical storm. They mentioned that gale force winds will be likely and diminish overnight.
  • The hurricane is located about 100-120 miles SE of Atlantic City and about 150 miles south of Fire Island.
  • Conditions are beginning to deteriorate from NYC to the east end of Long Island. Pressure is dropping rapidly, winds are increasing and waves are building. Connecticut was still more concerned about the intense river flooding over the hurricane.
  • Advisory from the Washington office now mentions that the storm is about 75 miles east-southeast of Atlantic City. It mentions the storm will pass over Long Island and Connecticut this afternoon. Reanalysis shows that the storm may have actually been about 120 miles southeast of the city much stronger and bigger than was mentioned in the advisory. It was now about 50 miles south of Cherry Grove, NY, on Fire Island.
  • Hurricane gusts are already occurring over Fire Island and along the south shore of Long Island. Connecticut shore was experiencing gusts near 75 mph as well.
  • In NYC, children were let out of school early. Heavy rains were occurring, trees were falling and power lines were falling down.
  • In Saltaire, NY, on Fire Island, the boardwalks were being ripped and flipped over. Nobody was evacuated before the storm so many people on Fire Island were rushed into shelter.
  • On the south shore of Long Island, debris was flying, phone lines were dead and power was out.
  • In Connecticut, winds were not as strong but pressure was rapidly falling. Flooding was still the main concern.
  • On the Long Island Sound, a Port Jefferson ferry had left at about 1:00 pm, heading to Bridgeport, CT. Conditions deteriorated so rapidly that the ferry could not continue, nor turn back. All 15 passengers on board were safe.

The hurricane made landfall sometime between 2:15pm and 2:45pm on September 21, 1938.

  • The hurricane center was now somewhere near Centereach, NY although with new reanalysis data of the hurricane, this could be slightly different.
  • New Jersey had gale force winds and downed trees, wires and other scattered debris.
  • NYC was experiencing gusts between 80-100 mph. Because of the large amount of debris blocking drains, extensive flooding was occurring.
  • In Saltaire NY, gusts likely reached at least 100 mph. Houses were disintegrating and being washed out to sea. After the eye of the hurricane passed through, the tidal surge began. It was called "the most horrifying aspect of the hurricane." Saltaire was split in half, which created one of the many inlets that formed on this day.
  • In Westhampton Beach, a huge wave of water swept across the beach and engulfed many of the houses. Roofs were removed, windows broken and parts of houses were ripped apart.
  • From New Haven, Connecticut on west, very heavy rain was observed, but would escape the strongest winds. Some trees and wires downed.
  • From New Haven on points east,damage was much worse. Wind gusts were near 100 mph and harbors "quickly disintegrated" and widespread damage was occurring to the coasts.
  • In Stonington, Connecticut, a train, the Bostonian, was stuck on the tracks due to debris. The 275 people on board sat on the train witnessing hurricane force winds and full houses floating by. Two people, in their attempt to get out, were quickly washed away. Eventually, the crew got the debris cleared and the train moving.
  • The center of the hurricane is now somewhere near Meriden, CT. NYC was experiencing 60-70 mph sustained winds but rain was ending. Long Island was seeing wind gusts subside at this time.
  • On Saltaire, NY, residents were still huddled in a shelter, cut off from the rest of the town due to an inlet being formed, One inlet, Shinnecock Inlet, formed during the storm and still remains today. Cracks in the Fire Island lighthouse formed and the Coast Guard station was "floating in the inlet.". Over 200 homes were completely destroyed on Fire Island.
  • In Westhampton Beach, the tide began to recede and 29 people would lose their lives with about 153 out of 179 homes were destroyed.
  • The Connecticut coast continued to lose boat after boat and experience extreme coastal flooding.
  • Conditions were improving everywhere but damage was still being reported. A ferry slammed into a terminal in Staten Island. A second storm tide caused widespread power outages in NYC. Citizens on Fire Island were stranded from the mainland.
  • In New London, CT, after the wind and surge had done their damage, a massive fire broke out around 4:30 pm. "It was the worst catastrophe ever to visit New London" since 1781.
  • The storm was well into Vermont by this time and was continuing to transition to an "extratropical storm."

The following is a letter scanned from Richard Hendrickson's book "Winds of the Fish's Tail." It was written by his first wife, Dorothea Hendrickson, to her family in New Jersey on September 27, 1938.


Contents

  • August 10, 1980 – Hurricane Allen makes landfall near Brownsville as a Category 3 hurricane. A wind gust of 140 mph (230 km/h) is reported in Port Mansfield. Heavy rainfall is reported across South Texas, with a peak of 20.2 in (510 mm) in Kingsville. Nearly all structures on South Padre Island are destroyed. [5] At least 12 tornadoes are also reported as a result of Allen. One damages hangars and aircraft at Robert Mueller Municipal Airport, causing $250 million in damages. [5][6] Two deaths are directly attributed to Allen, both of which are drownings in the Corpus Christi area, with five others indirectly killed. [1] An estimated $600 million in damages are attributed to Allen. [5]
  • September 5, 1980 – Tropical Storm Danielle makes landfall near Galveston Bay as a weak tropical storm. As it moves inland, it causes severe and widespread flooding across Texas. Areas are inundated by the rain, peaking at 18.29 in (465 mm) in Nederland. [7] One person is killed due to rains associated with Danielle. [8][9]
  • Mid-November 1980 – Hurricane Jeanne over the Western Gulf of Mexico causes tides to rise up to 4 ft (1.2 m) above average along the Texas coast. Coastal flooding also occurs, with the worst being near Galveston. Minimal damage is reported. [10][11]
  • Late-August 1981 – Tropical Depression Eight moves ashore northeast Mexico on August 29 and into the United States on August 30. As an ill-defined surface low, a large thunderstorm complex forms near its center that day, which unleashes very heavy rainfall in a 50 mi (80 km) wide band covering a 200 mi (320 km) path from Seguin to north of Houston. The highest rainfall amount reported is from Cheapside, where 18 in (460 mm) falls in a 24‑hour period ending on the morning of August 31. Five die in the town of Shiner due to the heavy rains. [12] Heavy rain in downtown Hallettsville causes floods and torrential rain, reaching a peak of 5 ft (1.5 m). Significant flooding also occurs along the Lavaca, Guadalupe, and Colorado rivers in Texas. Damages from the floods amount to nearly $21 million. [13]
  • October 13, 1981 – Hurricane Norma makes landfall on the Pacific coast of Mexico, but its remnants produce 21 in (530 mm) of rain near Dallas-Fort Worth, killing five. [14] Multiple tornadoes touch down in six counties in the region, injuring three. [15] Hurricane Norma causes $50 million in damages and kills three people in Texas. [16]
  • September 11, 1982 – Tropical Storm Chris makes landfall near Sabine Pass. [17] Before landfall the storm causes tides of 5 to 6 ft (1.5–1.8 m) in height. [17] Rainfall from Chris peaks at 0.96 in (24 mm) in Evadale. [18]
  • August 18, 1983 – Hurricane Alicia makes landfall near Galveston as a Category 3 hurricane. Alicia causes $2.6 billion in damage and 13 fatalities, along with an estimated 5,805 residential structures either heavily damaged or destroyed. [1][19] In advance of Alicia, offshore drilling platforms are evacuated. [20] At one point during the storm, the entire city of Galveston loses power, with 250,000 electricity customers in Houston losing power as well. [21] At the time, Hurricane Alicia is the costliest hurricane to impact Texas, not adjusting for inflation. [1] High rainfall totals are reported across Southeast Texas, with a peak of 9.5 in (240 mm) of rain in Liberty. The peak wind gust in Galveston is 102 mph (164 km/h). [19] An estimated storm surge of up to 12 ft (3.7 m) is estimated in Galveston Bay. Alicia also causes 23 tornadoes, concentrated around the Galveston and Tyler areas. [19][22]
  • August 28, 1983 – Hurricane Barry, a Category 1, makes landfall just south of Brownsville and forces the evacuation of 4,000 people, but causes minor damage. [23]
  • Mid-October 1983 – The remnants of Hurricane Tico from the Eastern Pacific cause rainfall over much of Texas, most of which is in northern Texas, where rainfall peaks at 9.59 in (0.244 m) in Quanah. [18][24] Numerous road closures take place due to the floods caused by the remnants of Tico. [25] In Val Verde County, 100 people are evacuated due to the heavy rain. Tico's remnants kill one person and cause $93 million in damages. [1]
  • Mid-September 1984 – The remnants of Tropical Storm Edouard cause severe flooding in South Texas, where some isolated locations receive totals in excess of 20 in (510 mm). [26]
  • October 11, 1985 – The remnants of Hurricane Waldo produce rainfall over most of West Texas, with multiple rain totals of at least 5 in (130 mm). [27]
  • Late-October 1985 – Hurricane Juan dumps up to 10 in (250 mm) of rain in extreme southeastern Texas, peaking at 12.84 in (326 mm) in Alto, killing one coastal resident. [28][29] The rains cause widespread floods that lead to road closures, and gusty winds cause some power outages. [30] Coastal flooding is also reported as a result of high tides caused by Juan. [30]
  • June 26, 1986 – Hurricane Bonnie makes landfall near High Island in Southeast Texas as a Category 1 hurricane, killing four people in Texas [1] and producing heavy rainfall that causes street flooding. Rainfall peaks at 13 in (330 mm), with many areas picking up at least 10 in (250 mm). [31] Bonnie also spawns four tornadoes in Texas. [32]
  • August 6, 1986 – A tropical depression produces rain over South Texas with a maximum total of 4.5 in (110 mm) near Refugio. [33]
  • September 23, 1986 – The remnants of Hurricane Newton produce 1 in (25 mm) rainfall totals over the Texas Panhandle with an area of 3 in (76 mm) near the border between New Mexico and Texas, peaking at 3.97 in (101 mm) in Wharton. [34][35]
  • Early-October 1986 – The remnants of Hurricane Paine produce widespread rainfall over western and northern Texas, most of which receives at least an inch of rain, with 10.39 in (264 mm) in Wellington. [18][36]
  • October 22, 1986 – The remnants of Hurricane Roslyn produce rainfall over much of southern and eastern Texas, with the heaviest totals along the middle Texas coast, where rainfall totals exceeds 10 in (250 mm). [37] Roslyn causes low-water crossings and streams to flood. [38]
  • August 10, 1987 – An unnamed storm makes landfall near High Island, Texas, producing over 1 in (25 mm) of rain to eastern portions of the state, peaking at 4.25 in (108 mm) in Umbarger. [18][39][40]
  • August 12, 1988 – Tropical Storm Beryl produces heavy rainfall over East Texas. Some areas receive 11.8 in (300 mm) of rain, causing localized flash flooding. [41][42][43]
  • September 2, 1988 – Tropical Depression Ten produces heavy rain over Southeast Texas, peaking at 8.16 in (207 mm) in Galveston. [18][44][45]
  • September 17, 1988 – Hurricane Gilbert makes landfall in northern Mexico with winds of 135 mph (217 km/h) and causes tides to rise up to 5 ft (1.5 m) above normal. [1][46] As a result, beach erosion is reported on Padre Island. [46] Rainfall peaks at 7.45 in (189 mm) in Anson. [18] Minor wind damage is reported from Gilbert. Twenty-nine tornadoes are recorded across Texas, with the worst damage in San Antonio. Gilbert causes three deaths in Texas, all resulting from tornadoes in San Antonio. [47][48] Damages from Gilbert total to $50 million. [1]
  • Late-June 1989 – Tropical Storm Allison makes landfall near Freeport, causing three deaths in the state. [49][50] Tropical Storm Allison produces torrential rainfall across the state, with amounts of more than 10 in (250 mm) over much of the upper Texas coast, peaking at 20.28 in (515 mm) in Orange. [18][51] Storm surge from the storm measures 7 ft (2.1 m) in Trinity Bay. [46] As a result, beach erosion is reported on Padre Island. [52] Allison causes an estimated $400 million in Texas alone. [51]
  • August 1, 1989 – Hurricane Chantal makes landfall as a minimal hurricane at High Island, Texas, causing two deaths from flash flooding. [1][53]
  • Early-October 1989 – Hurricane Raymond from the East Pacific causes rainfall in northern Texas, peaking at 2.80 in (71 mm) in Yorktown. [18][54]
  • October 16, 1989 – Hurricane Jerry affects the Galveston area as a minimal hurricane. The storm kills three people when a car is blown off The Galveston seawall. Jerry causes $70 million in damage and kills three. [1][55]
  • October 3, 1990 – Tropical Storm Rachel's remnants affect portions of West Texas. [56] Roads in Big Bend National Park are closed due to high water levels. Rainfall peaks at 1.5 in (38 mm) in Lubbock, causing minor street flooding, which leads to several car accidents. [56]
  • July 6, 1991 – Tropical Depression Two causes isolated rainfall over Texas, with a maximum total of 3 in (76 mm) reported within the vicinity of Anahuac. [57]
  • August 24, 1992 – The remnants of Hurricane Lester, which originated from the East Pacific, cause rainfall in North Texas, amounting up to 3 in (76 mm) in locations and peaking at 3.54 in (90 mm) in Chisos Basin. [18][58]
  • June 20, 1993 – Tropical Storm Arlene makes landfall near Padre Island. Heavy beach erosion occurs as a result of the storm. Arlene causes $55 million in damage and its flooding rains kill one person. [59][60]
  • September 14, 1993 – Hurricane Lidia moves into Texas before being absorbed by a cold front near Austin. [61] Lida's remnants cause moderate rainfall across the state, peaking at 7.3 in (190 mm) in Denton. [18] The combination of the front and the hurricane's remnants trigger tornadoes, and one causes more than $8 million in damages. Five people are injured in Arlington after a roof is torn off their hotel. [62]
  • Mid-October 1994 – The remnants of Hurricane Rosa cause severe flooding in Texas. [63] In some locations the flood is considered a 100-year event, peaking at 29.40 in (747 mm) in Cypress. [63] The floods kill 22 people and cause $700 million in damages. [63]
  • July 31, 1995 – Tropical Storm Dean makes landfall near Freeport. Dean drops nearly 17 in (430 mm) of rain in Monroe City. [64] The rainfall results in moderate localized damage. [65]
  • August 12, 1995 – Tropical Storm Gabrielle makes landfall just south of the Texas–Mexico border as a strong tropical storm, producing rainfall in southern Texas, peaking at 6.26 in (159 mm) in Weslaco. [66] Slight storm surge associated with Gabrielle floods beaches along the southern Texas coast. [18][67]
  • September 16, 1995 – Hurricane Ismael's remnants move across the Texas Panhandle. Rainfall peaks at 6.57 in (167 mm) in Ransom Canyon, [18] and flash flooding results in the area. [68][69]
  • August 23, 1996 – Hurricane Dolly makes landfall near Tampico, Mexico. [70] The storm causes beneficial rainfall in southern Texas, peaking at 5.53 in (140 mm) in Corpus Christi, providing drought relief to the area. [70]
  • October 4, 1996 – Tropical Storm Josephine forms just offshore of the Texas coast, bringing heavy rain to the state. Rainfall peaks at 10.81 in (275 mm) in Brownsville. [18] The storm, although remaining offshore, causes severe beach erosion across much of the coast. [71] Several houses are lost and up to 65 ft (20 m) of shore-front property on Galveston Island is eroded. [71]
  • August 23, 1998 – Tropical Storm Charley makes landfall near Port Aransas. Severe inland flooding occurs in Val Verde Country and 13 people are killed. Del Rio records 17 in (430 mm) of rain in 24 hours from the storm, a city record and the most rainfall from a tropical cyclone in Texas since Tropical Storm Claudette in 1979. [72]
  • September 11, 1998 – Tropical Storm Frances makes landfall north of Corpus Christi on September 11 as a moderately strong tropical storm. Rainfall causes large amounts of flooding in southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana, peaking at 21.76 in (553 mm) in Goose Creek. [18] As a result of the rains, many rivers and bayous overflow. [73] Due to the storm, tides are 5 ft (1.5 m) above average. [74] Frances causes an estimated total of $500 million in property damage. [75]
  • Mid-October 1998 – Moisture associated with the remnants of Hurricane Madeline results in flooding in Central Texas. [76] The event breaks numerous rain records in the region, including the wettest month for San Antonio since records began in 1885. [73] In addition, 15 rivers exceed the previously known peak flow. [73] The floods kill 31 people. [76] and cause $1.5 billion in damages. [77]
  • August 23, 1999 – Hurricane Bret makes landfall as a Category 3 hurricane on Padre Island, becoming the first major hurricane to hit Texas since Hurricane Alicia in 1983. [78] As it approaches landfall, large swells cause minor beach erosion along the coast. Along with rainfall from Bret, beaches in Matagorda County are closed due to the high water level. [79] Further inland, heavy rainfall occurs across South Texas, reaching 13.18 in (335 mm) in Sarita. [80] At the height of the storm, power outages cut electricity to an estimated 64,000 customers. [81] Due to the small size of Bret and its landfall in a relatively unpopulated region of the Texas coast, damages from Bret total just $15 million, but it causes four deaths, all of which are attributed to a semi-trailer truckjackknifing in Laredo. [82]
  • September 8, 1999 – Tropical Depression Seven's remnants produce light rainfall, peaking at 3.35 in (85 mm) in Harlingen. [83]
  • September 9, 2000 – Tropical Depression Nine makes landfall near Sabine Pass, with maximum sustained winds of 30 mph (48 km/h). Minimal damage is reported. [84]
  • June 5, 2001 – Tropical Storm Allison makes landfall near Freeport. It stalls over eastern Texas for several days, dropping extreme amounts of rain which leads to catastrophic flooding. [85] Allison causes flash flooding in the area, producing widespread street flooding and filling nearby bayous to severe levels. [86] Rainfall peaks at 36.99 in (940 mm) at the Port of Houston. [87] The Texas Medical Center is severely damaged, with losses of up to $2 billion. Patient evacuations and medical services are disrupted due to power outages caused by the storm. [87] Allison causes an estimated $4.8 billion in damages, nearly all of it related to freshwater flooding in the Greater Houston region. [85] Tropical Storm Allison causes 23 deaths in the state, [88] and was the only non-hurricane strength storm to have its name retired until Tropical Storm Erika (did not affect the U.S.) in 2015. [89]
  • August 9, 2002 – Tropical Storm Bertha makes landfall as a tropical depression near Kingsville, causing isolated rainfall throughout the state. [90][91]
  • September 7, 2002 – Tropical Storm Fay makes landfall near Port O'Connor, where it causes heavy rainfall and $450,000 in damage. [92] Rainfall peaks at 18.49 in (470 mm) in Fowlerton. [18] Fay causes five tornadoes, one of which injures three people. Much of the impact takes place in Brazoria County, where over 2,300 homes are damaged. [93]
  • June 30, 2003 – Tropical Storm Bill causes minor beach erosion on the Bolivar Peninsula. [94]
  • July 15, 2003 – Hurricane Claudette makes landfall at Matagorda Island near Port O'Connor as a strong Category 1 storm, with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph (140 km/h). Claudette is responsible for one direct death. Inland towns in Texas sustain significant wind damage. Estimated damages total up to $180 million. [95]
  • August 16, 2003 – Hurricane Erika makes landfall in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas as a minor Category 1 hurricane, causing minor coastal damage and beach erosion in parts of southern Texas. [96]
  • August 31, 2003 – Tropical Storm Grace makes landfall near San Luis Pass with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph (64 km/h), causing heavy rainfall along the Texas coast and resulting in $113,000 in total damages. [97]
  • September 22, 2003 – Hurricane Marty from the East Pacific makes landfall in the Mexican state of Baja California Sur. Rainfall associated with the remnants of Marty affects western Texas. [98]
  • September 20, 2004 – As the remnants of Hurricane Javier move northeast through northwest Mexico, 1 in (25 mm) of rain is reported in western Texas. [99]
  • September 24, 2004 – Four days after Hurricane Javier affected the state, Hurricane Ivan, having regenerated into a tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico, makes landfall near Cameron, Louisiana, as a tropical depression. Over 7 in (180 mm) of rain is dropped on eastern Texas. [100]
  • October 10, 2004 – Tropical Storm Matthew moves ashore in southern Louisiana, producing locally heavy rainfall in eastern Texas, peaking at 6.10 in (155 mm) in Matagorda, but little damage. [18][101]
  • July 20, 2005 – Hurricane Emily makes landfall in Tamaulipas, Mexico, providing rainfall to drought-affected areas of southern Texas. [102] Rainfall peaks at 5.2 in (130 mm) in Mercedes, and is spread from about 1 to 3 in (25–76 mm) elsewhere. [103]
  • September 23, 2005 – Hurricane Rita makes landfall as a Category 3 hurricane on the border between Louisiana and Texas on September 23. [104] In preparation for its landfall, the largest evacuation in United States history takes place, with over 3 million people evacuating inland. [105] At one point during the storm, 1 million energy customers lose power due to outages. [106] Rita causes a peak of 10.48 in (266 mm) in Center. [18][107] Major flooding is reported in Port Arthur and Beaumont. Offshore oil platforms throughout Rita's path also suffer significant damage, though the refineries of Houston, originally thought to be at risk, escape the brunt of the storm. Many of the indirect deaths linked to Rita are caused by a single bus fire in mass evacuations out of Houston. [104] Rita causes 59 deaths in the state all told. [1]
  • September 2, 2006 – The remnants of Hurricane John, an East Pacific storm, cause moderate to heavy rainfall. In northern Texas, moisture from the storm combined with a cold front produces rainfall of over 4 in (100 mm), helping alleviate severe drought. [108][109]
  • September 16, 2006 – Hurricane Lane, another East Pacific storm, makes landfall in the Mexican state of Sinaloa. Lane's remnants combine with an upper-level trough over southeast portions of the state, dropping over 5 in (130 mm) of rain in some locations. [110]
  • August 16, 2007 – Tropical Storm Erin makes landfall near Lamar as a minimal tropical storm. Rainfall peaks in Texas at 10.7 in (270 mm) in Sisterdale. [111] Erin causes nine deaths in the state and causes nearly $49 million in damages. [112][113]
  • September 13, 2007 – Hurricane Humberto rapidly intensifies before making landfall just west of the Louisiana–Texas border with winds of up to 90 mph, dropping up to 14.13 in (359 mm) of rain. [114] The storm kills one person and leaves $50 million in damage. [115]
  • July 23, 2008 – Hurricane Dolly makes landfall at South Padre Island with winds near 100 mph. A storm surge of 4 ft (1.2 m) is observed across much of the coast of southern Texas. [116] Dolly's remnants cause coastal and inland flooding and over 12 in (300 mm) of rain in some locations, peaking at 15 in (380 mm) in Harlingen. [117] On South Padre Island, moderate structural damage, mostly to roofs, is reported. Tree and utility pole damage is widespread across Cameron County. Widespread power outages are reported across southern Texas as a result of Dolly. [116]
  • August 5, 2008 – Tropical Storm Edouard makes landfall near Port Arthur with winds near 65 mph. Edouard provides beneficial rain to a drought stricken central Texas. [118]
  • September 1, 2008 – Hurricane Gustav produces heavy rain to extreme East Texas as it makes landfall in Louisiana as a Category 2 hurricane. [119] The storm causes strong rip currents and minor overwash of the coast. [120]
  • September 13, 2008 – Hurricane Ike makes landfall at Galveston as a large Category 2 hurricane. Its large size contributes to a storm surge that is as high as 20 ft (6.1 m), [121] which inundates many of the barrier islands off the Texas coast. Many structures on the Bolivar Peninsula are destroyed. [122] Most notably, in Gilchrist all but one house is destroyed by the storm surge. [123] The storm also causes heavy rains where it makes landfall, peaking at 18.9 in (480 mm). [124] At one point, the storm knocks out power to as many as an estimated 2.6 million people. [1] Ike is one of the most destructive hurricanes ever to hit Texas and one of the deadliest, causing $19.3 billion in damages and killing 84 people. [1]
  • October 13, 2008 – Hurricane Norbert causes moderate rainfall over West Texas after moving inland from the eastern Pacific. [125]
  • November 10, 2009 – Hurricane Ida causes minimal effects on Texas, producing high tides that lead to road closures. [126]
  • June 30, 2010 – Hurricane Alex makes landfall at Soto la Marina, Tamaulipas in Mexico as a large Category 2 hurricane, bringing heavy rains, wind, and tornadoes to South Texas. [127] The hurricane's remnants also bring heavy rains to portions of the Rio Grande, causing it to exceed record levels. [128]
  • July 8, 2010 – Tropical Depression Two makes landfall on South Padre Island, dropping 1 to 3 in (25 to 76 mm) of rain in south Texas, peaking at 8.95 in (227 mm) in Chincorro. [129] However, there are no reports of significant damage. [130]
  • September 7, 2010 – Tropical Storm Hermine makes landfall in northeastern Mexico as a strong tropical storm with 65 mph (105 km/h) winds. [131] A storm surge of 3.4 ft (1.0 m) is reported at Port Aransas as the storm approaches the coast. In the Rio Grande Valley, an estimated 35,000 homes lose power due to Hermine, [132] while in Bexar County, 100,000 customers lose power. [133] Farm crops in the Texas Coastal Bend are also damaged by the strong winds and rain. [134] In addition, numerous roads are closed due to overwash. Hermine kills five people and causes $240 million in damages in the state. [131]
  • June 30, 2011 – Tropical Storm Arlene makes landfall south of Texas near Cabo Rojo. [135] The outer bands of Arlene produce 1 to 4 in (25–102 mm) of rain in southern Texas. [136]
  • July 30, 2011 – Tropical Storm Don makes landfall near Baffin Bay, Texas before quickly dissipating. The storm produces minimal rainfall in extreme southern Texas, peaking at 2.56 in (65 mm) in Bay City. [137]Cotton farms benefit from the minimal rainfall. [138]
  • Early-September 2011 – The outer bands of Tropical Storm Lee cause light rain in eastern Texas, peaking at 3.97 in (101 mm) in Nederland. [18] Despite the light rainfall, strong winds further inland help ignite numerous wildfires throughout the state. [139] One of the fires, the Bastrop County Complex fire, destroys 1,700 homes and businesses, becoming the most destructive wildfire in Texas history. [140]
  • August 31, 2012 – Outer rainbands associated with Hurricane Isaac cause slight rainfall in East Texas, peaking at around 3 in (7.6 cm) near Galveston Bay. [141] Strong winds associated with Isaac's thunderstorms knock down many trees in Trinity County, where wind gusts peak at an estimated 65 mph (105 km/h). [142]
  • September 29, 2012 – Moisture associated with the remnants of Hurricane Miriam and Tropical Storm Norman brings light rainfall over areas of Texas, slightly alleviating drought conditions. Rainfall in the state measures 1–4 in (25–102 mm), causing some flash flooding. Combined with a surface trough, the moisture generates severe thunderstorms which later coalesce into a squall line, bringing strong winds which cause numerous reports of window damage. A weather station near Paducah records a peak wind gust of 96 mph (154 km/h). [143]
  • Mid-September 2013 – As Hurricane Ingrid passes to the south, its outer rainbands drop isolated areas of heavy rainfall across South Texas. Rainfall totals from the bands peak at approximately 3 in (76 mm) near the Texas border with Mexico. [144]
  • September 3, 2014 – Despite making landfall near Tampico, Mexico, the outer rainbands of Tropical Storm Dolly traverse South Texas, producing rainfall totals peaking at 2.91 in (74 mm) in Hidalgo County. After dissipating, moisture from the remnant system causes additional showers in the area. Urban flooding as a result of poor water drainage occurs in Brownsville, Edinburg, and McAllen. However, the heavy rainfall helps to alleviate some drought conditions in South Texas. [145]
  • September 20, 2014 – Flooding associated with the remnants of Hurricane Odile kill one sheriff's deputy in Austin. [146]
  • Mid-June 2015 – Tropical Storm Bill makes landfall on Matagorda Island with sustained winds of 60 mph (95 km/h), causing gusts peaking at 53 mph (85 km/h) in Palacios and Port O'Connor in addition to producing a 3 ft (0.9 m) storm surge in Port Lavaca. [147] However, most of Bill's impacts in Texas are associated with heavy rainfall. Several isolated areas receive rainfall in excess of 10 in (25 cm) of rainfall, including a large swath of Victoria County. [148] In Wharton, rainfall peaks at 13.05 in (331 mm). [149]
  • October 20–24, 2015 – Hurricane Patricia's remnants bring heavy rain to Texas. The maximum rainfall total is reported to be 20.87 in (530 mm) in Corsicana. [150] This rain causes the flooding and closure of Interstate 45 in that area. [151]
  • September 8, 2016 – The remnants of Hurricane Newton bring heavy rains to parts of western Texas, however there are no reports of significant damage.
  • June 22, 2017 – Tropical Storm Cindy makes landfall near Port Arthur with winds of 45 mph (70 km/h). One fatality takes place in Bolivar Peninsula. [152]
  • August 25–28, 2017 – Hurricane Harvey makes landfall near the coast of Rockport as a Category 4 hurricane and later stalls just inland, producing extreme and unprecedented amounts of rainfall in the vast majority of southern Texas. The highest storm total rainfall that can be confirmed is 60.58″, which occurred near Nederland, Texas in the Beaumont-Port Arthur area. A 60.54″ report was confirmed in Groves, Texas near Port Arthur as well. Both of these totals, along with five others (most in the Friendswood area), establish a new United States record for rainfall associated with a tropical cyclone, breaking the 1950 total of 52″ in Hawaii from Hurricane Hiki. The previous Lower 48 record was 48″ from Tropical Storm Amelia in Medina, Texas back in 1978. Harvey broke that record in at least 18 locations. Radar estimates of 65-70″ were noted, but cannot be confirmed. [153] Over 300,000 structures were flooded, along with over 500,000 vehicles. [153] 30,000 water rescues were conducted and 40,000 people evacuated from flooding. [153] The resulting catastrophic flooding in most of Houston and Harris County as well as in dozens of other surrounding counties causes an estimated $125 billion in damage, making Harvey the costliest tropical cyclone worldwide, as well as the costliest tropical cyclone in Texas history. [154]
  • September 17–19, 2019 – Tropical Storm Imelda makes landfall near Freeport, Texas with winds of 40 mph (64 km/h). [155] The slow and erratic movement of the tropical cyclone produces widespread and catastrophic flooding across much of southeastern Texas. [156] A peak rainfall total of 43.39 in (1,102 mm) is recorded at North Fork Taylor's Bayou in Jefferson County. [157] Imelda's effects kill five people. [158]
  • July 25, 2020 – Hurricane Hanna makes landfall roughly 12 mi (19 km) north-northwest of Port Mansifeld with maximum sustained winds of 80 mph (130 km/h). Texas incurs over $1.1 billion in damage, sustaining heavy losses to crops in the Rio Grande Valley and widespread power outages affecting some 200,000 people. Five indirect deaths are attributed to the storm, including four from carbon monoxide poisoning in Edinburg. Rainfall totals of 6–12 in (150–300 mm) occur across the Rio Grande Valley, punctuated by a peak total of 15.49 in (393 mm) near Santa Rosa. The heavy rains trigger flash floods and prompt water rescues in Hidalgo and Cameron counties. [159]
  • August 26, 2020 – the western extent of Hurricane Laura impacts Southeast Texas, bringing 60–110 mph (97–177 km/h) wind gusts and leaving Orange hardest-hit. More than 160,000 energy customers lose power, including about 90 percent of Orange County. [160][161] Six people die of carbon monoxide poisoning in Laura's aftermath and an additional 18 people are treated for carbon monoxide injuries. [161][162]
  • Mid-September 2020 – the slow-moving Tropical Storm Beta causes extensive rainfall across Southeast Texas, with a station in Brookside registering a peak accumulation of 15.77 in (401 mm). Significant flooding occurs in southern parts of Houston with damage to at least 20–25 homes one person drowns in Brays Bayou. [163]

The following is a list of tropical storms with known deaths in the state.

Tropical Storms causing known deaths in Texas
Name Year Number of deaths Notes
Harvey 2017 103 [1]
Ike 2008 84 [164]
Rita 2005 59 [1]
Allison 2001 23 [88]
Alicia 1983 13 [1]
Charley 1998 13 [72]
Erin 2007 9 [112]
Laura 2020 9 [165]
Allen 1980 7 [1]
Eight 1981 5 [12]
Norma 1981 5 [14]
Hermine 2010 5 [131]
Imelda 2019 5
Bonnie 1986 4 [1]
Bret 1999 4 [82]
Allison 1989 3 [51]
Jerry 1989 3 [1]
Chantal 1989 2

  1. ^ All damage totals are in the value of the USD during the storm's year of existence.
  2. ^ A major hurricane is a storm that ranks as Category 3 or higher on the Saffir–Simpson hurricane scale. [2]
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15 Worst Hurricanes of All Time

There is a ritual of sorts that goes on in Florida every year when folks get wind of the news that a big storm is a-brewing. Windows are boarded, boats are dry-docked and grocery stores and home improvement stores are picked clean of anything that might come in handy in the unlikely event that a massive hurricane hits.

What keeps people going through the annual routine of following spaghetti models and prepping for the big one in the Sunshine State and other coastal areas is that many have seen a hurricane or two, and they know the kind of serious destruction these storms can cause. From an 18th-century hurricane that ravaged the Caribbean to the devastating blow issued by Sandy in 2012, history is replete with stories of the wreckage and ruin that come with a major storm.

By definition, a hurricane is a tropical storm with winds above 74 miles per hour (119 kilometers per hour). The systems occur all over the world. In the Western Atlantic and Eastern Pacific Oceans, they are called hurricanes. In the Indian Ocean and South Pacific, they are called cyclones and in the Western Pacific, they are called typhoons.

The following hurricanes aren't necessarily the deadliest of all time, or the costliest. But they all sit at the intersection of property damage, powerful winds and human tragedy, and all captured the world's attention for differing reasons. We've listed them in order of lives lost.

Hurricane Michael decimated the Florida Panhandle, particularly in the Panama City Beach, Mexico Beach and Cape San Blas, when it made landfall Oct. 10, 2018 as a Category 5. It was the strongest hurricane ever to hit that area and only the second Category 5 to make landfall on the Gulf Coast. Michael also was the first Category 5 storm to hit the U.S. since Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

Hurricane Michael started as a typical weak October Caribbean tropical system. However, once the system moved over warm Gulf of Mexico waters, it rapidly intensified and became a major hurricane with sustained winds of 161 miles per hour (259 kilometers per hour). The catastrophic damage was caused from wind and storm surge, and spread inland into southwest Georgia.

Michael caused 16 deaths in four states, including Florida, Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia. Damage estimates from the Insurance Information Institute from Michael total between $9 and $12 billion.

This powerful Category 5 hurricane walloped southern Dade County, Florida, mainly the area south of Miami, in August 1992. Storm season started quietly that year with minimal activity even Andrew was originally considered a "weak" storm when it developed in the Atlantic Ocean. But by the time it hit the Bahamas, this first-named storm of the season sent winds whipping at more than 160 mph (257 kph).

When it made its way to Florida, Andrew demolished scores of homes, with its sustained winds of 141 miles per hour (227 kilometers per hour). A 17-foot (5.2-meter) storm surge turned low-lying streets into waterways. The storm also left drivers to fend for themselves for weeks, as roughly 9,500 traffic signs and signals were destroyed.

With damage estimated at $27.3 billion (in 2017 dollars), Andrew was the costliest hurricane in U.S. history for more than a decade until Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana in 2005 and caused more damage in terms of insured losses.

One positive legacy from Andrew is that the South Florida building code was entirely revamped and now all new homes are required to have storm shutters or impact-resistant glass roofs have enhanced nail requirements, too.

All in all, Andrew was blamed for 61 deaths in Florida and the Caribbean. And the storm more than 125,000 homes and 160,000 people were left homeless.

Hurricane Dorian was the first major hurricane of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season. It formed on Aug. 24, 2019 from a tropical wave in the Central Atlantic and gradually strengthened as it moved toward the Lesser Antilles when it became a hurricane Aug. 28. The storm rapidly intensified and quickly became a Category 4 hurricane. By Sept. 1, Dorian reached Category 5 intensity and was packing sustained winds of 185 miles per hour (297 kilometers per hour), and barreling straight for the Bahamas.

It made landfall as a Category 5 storm at Elbow Cay, Great Abaco, in the Bahamas, and a second landfall hours later on Grand Bahama Island. It was the strongest hurricane ever to hit the Bahamas. But Dorian wasn't done. It moved up the North Carolina coast, and made landfall for a third time, as a Category 1 at Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, where rain and devastating storm surge overwhelmed the Outer Banks.

The official death toll from Dorian in the Bahamas is 74, though the Bahamas' former health minister told the country's Parliament that record-keeping on Hurricane Dorian's missing victims was botched so badly that he couldn't say for sure how many actually died. Damage estimates for the Bahamas alone were around $3.4 billion.

After traveling through the Gulf of Mexico in late August 2017, Hurricane Harvey arrived in the United States as a Category 4 storm. At the time it was the first major hurricane to make landfall in the continental United States in a decade, after 2005's Hurricane Wilma. The arrival of Harvey coincided with its peak intensity: winds of 130 miles per hour (215 kilometers per hour). Coastal communities in Texas like Corpus Christi and Galveston were hard-hit, but the most striking damage was in Houston, the fourth-largest city in the country.

Flooding in Houston was severe, as Harvey remained over the area for days, dumping up to 50 inches (127 centimeters) of water in certain locations. That's the same amount of rainfall Houston usually sees in an entire year, all deposited in a four-day span, and the area's ecosystem and manmade environment were both overwhelmed. The storm also affected communities like Beaumont, Texas, where the entire city was cut off from fresh drinking water. Then-FEMA director Brock Long called Harvey "probably the worst disaster the state's seen."

More than 13,000 people required rescuing throughout Texas, and an overall 30,000 people from that state were displaced by floodwaters. And while Texas was hardest-hit, the storm also affected communities in Louisiana, Alabama, Tennessee and beyond. Damage estimates were around $121 billion, making it the fourth-most expensive hurricane in U.S. history.

Harvey claimed at least 82 lives in Texas. Officials say that number includes those who died as a direct result of the storm, drowning in flash floods or on roads.

Florida and the Gulf of Mexico coast often bear the brunt of hurricane traffic in the U.S., but the East Coast also sees its share of storm-related destruction. Take Hurricane Hugo. It was one of the worst storms to hit the Carolinas in decades when it made landfall in September 1989.

The massive storm was a Category 3 as it approached the East Coast from Puerto Rico with sustained winds clocking in at 135 miles per hour (217 kilometers per hour). But Hugo intensified to a Category 4 by the time it made landfall at Sullivan's Island, South Carolina. And because Hugo was so large — and was moving so fast (at nearly a 30 miles per hour [48 kilometers per hour]) — hurricane force winds reached inland areas that rarely see severe conditions.

Hugo became the strongest storm to hit the East Coast since Hurricane Hazel in 1954, causing at least 86 deaths and upward of $10 billion in damages. The World Meteorological Organization retired the name, meaning there will never be another Hurricane Hugo.

After barreling through Jamaica, Cuba and Haiti, the huge, slow-moving Hurricane Sandy weakened to a post-tropical cyclone before making landfall in the U.S. in October 2012. But it was strong enough to wreak havoc on New York City and the Jersey Shore. Storm surges of more than 13 feet (4 meters) left parts of lower Manhattan under water and residents across the borough without power for days. Meanwhile, parts of Staten Island and beaches in Queens were nearly wiped off the map.

Sandy destroyed or damaged about 650,000 homes in the Northeast U.S. and killed 117 people in the U.S. alone, as well as 69 others in Canada and the Caribbean. The approximate damage impact was $65 billion. The hurricane is also referred to as "Superstorm Sandy" because as it approached New York it had the characteristics of a winter storm rather than a tropical one.

Hurricane Ivan hit Gulf Shores, Alabama on Sept. 16, 2004 as a Category 3. But it still remains one of the country's most destructive. The storm devastated the coastlines of Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle, and produced waves more than 50 feet (45 meters) high.

What made this Category 3 so destructive? It had a very long life for a hurricane, and it strengthened and weakened many times throughout that cycle — gaining Category 5 strength three times. One of those was as it passed by the western tip of Cuba on Sept. 13. It weakened to a Category 4 once it entered the Gulf of Mexico. On the morning of Sept. 16, Ivan made landfall at Gulf Shores as a Category 3 hurricane with sustained winds of 120 miles per hour (193 kilometers per hour) and a 14-foot (4.3-meter) storm surge. Despite rapidly weakening, it continued to produce tons of rain, and even spawned tornadoes across the Southeastern United States.

The system made its way over Virginia Sept. 18, and then looped backed over southern Florida back into the Gulf of Mexico Sept. 21. The system reacquired the name Tropical Storm Ivan five days after its first U.S. landfall and eventually Ivan made its final landfall Sept. 23 in southwestern Louisiana.

Ivan was ultimately blamed for the death of 57 people in the United States and another 67 in Grenada, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Cayman Islands and Barbados. Damage estimates were more than $27 billion (in 2017 dollars).

When Hurricane Camille hit in August 1969, it was a nasty storm that brought heavy flooding and 200-mile per hour (320-kilometer per hour) winds to the Gulf Coast and later Virginia. It also was one of only two Category 5 hurricanes to hit the Continental U.S. since 1900. (Since then two others have made landfall: Andrew in 1992 and Michael in 2018.) After forming near the Cayman Islands in August 1969, Camille first blew through Cuba as a Category 3 but intensified in the Gulf of Mexico making a beeline for Mississippi where it made landfall between Bay St. Louis and Pass Christian Aug. 18. Exact wind speed at landfall is unknown, as weather instruments were destroyed, though estimates put suggest gusts were as high as 200 miles per hour (322 kilometers per hour). However, with 900 mb pressure at landfall, Camille still ranks as the second most intense hurricane to hit the continental U.S.

Winds as high as 100 miles per hour were clocked across much of Southern Mississippi, leading to wind damage far inland. A 24-foot (7-meter) storm surge also contributed to major devastation in Mississippi. Camille eventually weakened to a tropical storm as it moved up the East Coast and reached Virginia, but the storm continued to dump upward of 20 inches (51 centimeters) of rain on the region, contributing to flash flooding and mudslides just 120 miles (193 kilometers) from the nation's capital. The storm resulted in 256 deaths and more than $1.4 billion in damage.

Camille played an important role in hurricane tracking in that it spawned the creation of the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, which ranks storms from categories 1 to 5 based on wind speed. Category 1 hurricanes blow winds ranging from 74 to 95 miles (119 to 153 kilometers), while those in the Category 5 range feature wind speeds of more than 156 miles (251 kilometers) an hour. The system is designed to give residents in danger zones a better idea of what to expect from a brewing storm.

There are many ways to measure a hurricane, whether wind speed and rain or lives lost and property damage caused. Then there's sheer size. With a 500 nautical mile (926 kilometer) diameter, Gilbert was one of the largest hurricanes ever observed in the Atlantic basin. The storm originated near the Cape Verde Islands on the west coast of Africa, the birthplace of some of the worst hurricanes in history.

After becoming a Category 5 storm in September 1988, Gilbert literally covered the entire island of Jamaica, damaging roughly 80 percent of the island's homes. The hurricane then moved on to the Cayman Islands and Mexico, among other areas, before weakening and crossing into Texas, manifesting itself in a series of tornadoes. The storm caused 318 deaths, including 200 people killed in flooding in Mexico and 28 who died when a Cuban freight ship was thrown into a shrimp boat. Gilbert-related damage topped out at about $5.5 billion.

6: 1935 Florida Keys Labor Day Hurricane

This Category 5 storm, considered the strongest to hit the U.S. in the 20th century, brought 200-mile-per-hour (320-kilometers per hour) winds and soaking rain to the upper and middle Florida Keys and killed approximately 400 people. More than half of the dead were World War I veterans who had been working on building a highway from Key West to Key Largo. Damage in the United States was estimated at $6 million.

This storm is simply known as the "Labor Day Hurricane" because the practice of naming hurricanes didn't begin until 1953. (And the World Meteorological Organization gave storms only female handles until 1978.) The storm also struck well before advances in weather tracking technology, including the regular use of Doppler radar, that predict where a storm might end up, leaving residents largely in the dark as the hurricane approached. Many of the victims had waited anxiously for an evacuation train that never came – it was washed away from the tracks.

Hurricane Katrina is often referred to as a man-made, rather than natural, disaster by those who fault infrastructure problems for the decimation caused by this storm that ravaged New Orleans and other parts of the Gulf Coast.

On Aug. 26, 2005, Hurricane Katrina looked like a hurricane that was fizzling out, but it began rapidly strengthening to Category 5 levels over warm water in the Gulf of Mexico. By Aug. 28, a mandatory evacuation order was issued for New Orleans. As the Category 3 hurricane reached the city, water topped over its systems of levees causing them to break and the streets to flood. Eventually, 80 percent of New Orleans was underwater.

Katrina left residents who couldn't — or chose not to — evacuate stranded in their homes with waters rising around them. Forty percent of hurricane-related deaths were from drowning. Slow federal government reaction to the plight of those affected led to claims of incompetence and even deliberate disregard for poor and Black people.

In all, Hurricane Katrina claimed 1,833 lives and at $161 billion is considered the costliest hurricane in U.S. history. The Federal Emergency Management Agency called it "the single most catastrophic natural disaster in U.S. history."

Hurricane Katrina also displaced 400,000 people to areas like Houston and Atlanta. Many never returned. An upgraded system of levees was completed in 2013, but officials are worried about the massive cost of maintaining them with a shrunken tax base.

Hurricane Maria was the second Category 5 hurricane of the 2017 season. Coming just two weeks after a brutal Irma, Maria was particularly devastating as it passed through some of the same areas Irma traveled. Maria reached landfall on the tiny island of Dominica on Sept. 18, 2017 with wind speeds of 175 miles per hour (281 kilometers per hour). It then moved on to Guadalupe, and the U.S. Virgin Islands before destroying the island of Puerto Rico on Sept. 20. By then it had weakened to a Category 4, with winds of 155 miles per hour (249 kilometers per hour) dumping 10 inches (25 centimeters) of rain.

The official death toll from Maria was put at 146 (64 in Puerto Rico, 65 in Dominica and the rest in other islands). However, people believed the real total was much higher. The Puerto Rican government finally revised the death toll to 2,975 in August 2018, almost a year after the disaster, after commissioning an independent investigation from George Washington University [source: Fink].


Operation Bootstrap

Big political, economic and social changes swept Puerto Rico after World War II. In 1948, Congress passed an act permitting Puerto Ricans to elect their own governor. Four years later, Puerto Rico would officially become a U.S. commonwealth, which enabled the island to create its own constitution and granted other powers of self-government.

By that time, the U.S. and Puerto Rican governments had jointly launched an ambitious industrialization effort called Operation Bootstrap. Even as Puerto Rico attracted an influx of big American companies, and became a center for manufacturing and tourism, the decline of its agricultural industries led many islanders to seek employment opportunities in the United States.

Between 1950 and 1970, more than 500,000 people (some 25 percent of the island’s total population) left Puerto Rico, an exodus known as La Gran Migración (the Great Migration). Today, more than 5 million people of Puerto Rican descent live in the United States, with huge communities centered in Chicago, Philadelphia, Miami and especially New York City.


September 13, 2020

A state of emergency was declared on the night of Sunday, September 13, 2020. Mississippi governor Tate Reeves urged residents to prepare for Sally, which he said could produce up to 20 inches (51 cm) of rain in the southern part of the state. Some shelters were opened, although officials urged people who were evacuating to stay with friends, relatives, or in hotels, if possible, because of the threat of coronavirus superspreading. Mandatory evacuations were ordered for parts of Harrison County and Hancock County.


Since North Carolina's days as a colony—well before the advent of modern meteorology and hurricane science—its residents have tracked numerous major storms to hit the coast. Thanks to detailed record-keeping by inhabitants, we've got descriptions of many of the hurricanes to hit North Carolina over its formative two centuries.

1752: In late September, a hurricane ravaged the North Carolina coast in Onslow County, just north of Wilmington. The courthouse was destroyed, along with all public records, as well as many crops and livestock. "At 9 o'clock the flood came rolling in with great impetuosity, and in a short time the tide rose 10 feet above the high water mark of the highest tide," said an eyewitness.

1769: A hurricane struck the North Carolina Outer Banks in September. The colonial capital of the time, New Bern, was almost completely destroyed.

1788: A hurricane made landfall on the Outer Banks and moved into Virginia. This storm was so notable that George Washington wrote a detailed account in his diary, causing the storm to be referred to as "George Washington's storm." The damage was severe at his home in Mount Vernon, Virginia.

1825: One of the earliest-in-the-season hurricanes to ever hit the state (early June), this storm brought incredibly damaging winds onshore.

1876: What became known as the "Centennial Gale" moved through North Carolina in September, bringing heavy flooding to the coast.

1878: A powerful storm known as the "Great October Gale" roared into the Outer Banks in October. Winds of over 100 miles an hour were recorded at Cape Lookout, near Wilmington.

1879: A hurricane in August of this year was among the worst of the century. Devices for measuring wind speed were shattered and destroyed from the sheer force of winds at Cape Hatteras and Kitty Hawk. This storm was so intense that the state's governor, Thomas Jarvis, was forced to flee his hotel in Beaufort, which later collapsed.

1896: A September hurricane made landfall far south of the Carolinas, in the northern portion of Florida. The storm remained unusually strong, though, and damage from 100-mile-an-hour winds was reported as far north as Raleigh and Chapel Hill.

1899: The "San Ciriaco Hurricane" would make its way through the Outer Banks in August of this year, flooding portions of the Hatteras community and other barrier islands. Diamond City, the state's lone whaling community, was destroyed in the storm and abandoned. Over 20 deaths were reported.


Timeline: hurricanes in the US

The Hurricane of Independence (September 2- 9 1776)
Area affected: The eastern coastline from North Carolina to Nova Scotia
Peak wind speed: Unknown
It is estimated that 6,824 patriot troops died in battle during the eight-year War of Independence. In only seven days the hurricane claimed the lives of a further 4,170. The agricultural damage to Virginia was particularly devastating. The September 9 1776 edition of the Virginia Gazette reported that "most of the mill-dams are broke, the corn laid almost level with the ground, and fodder destroyed many ships and other vessels drove ashore and damaged, at Norfolk, Hampton, and York."

The Galveston Hurricane (September 8 1900)
Area affected: The island city of Galveston, southeast Texas
Peak wind speed: 140pmh
The Galveston Hurricane, referred to simply as 'the storm' by Texans, is currently considered the deadliest hurricane in US history. An estimated 6,000 to 8,000 lives were lost as a result of the strong winds and tidal surge. Wind speeds for the hurricane must be estimated since the even the anemometer of the local weather bureau building was blown away. In the wake of the hurricane a concrete construction known as the 'sea wall' was built along a large section of the sea front, which may have contributed to damage limitation when Hurricane Alicia visited Galveston in 1983. The cost of repair is estimated at $700m(£400m), in today's money.

Okeechobee Hurricane (San Felipe Hurricane) (September 6-20 1928)
Area affected: Southern Florida, Puerto Rico
Peak wind speed: 160mph
Residents of Lake Okeechobee, Florida, had been warned to evacuate, but many assumed predictions were incorrect after the hurricane failed to arrive on schedule. Those returning to their homes were faced with flooding which reached depths of 20ft in some areas. A large proportion of the fatalities washed out to the Everglades were never recovered. The remaining dead, many unidentifiable migrant workers, were buried in mass graves when local burial services proved unequal to the scale of the tragedy. An initial estimate of 1,836 deaths was revised to 2,500 deaths in 2003, making Okeechobee the second-deadliest US hurricane on record. It is hoped that the construction of the Hoover Dyke, which now contains the waters of Lake Okeechobee, will prevent a repeat of the disaster.

The New England Hurricane (The Long Island Express) (September 10 - 22 1938)
Areas affected: New York, Long Island and southern New England
Peak wind speed: 170mph
No one at the National Weather Bureau foresaw the scale of this hurricane, with the exception of a junior forecaster who was quickly overruled by his superiors. The Long Island Express was nonetheless responsible for 600 deaths and left 63,000 homeless. It also had a permanent effect on the Long Island landscape, creating the Shinnecock inlet.

Hurricane Audrey (June 25 - 28 1957)
Area affected: South-west Louisiana and northern Texas
Peak wind speed: 150 mph
Although its effects were relatively localised, Hurricane Audrey will be remembered for virtually wiping out the town of Cameron, Louisiana. The death toll is estimated between 390 and 425, including 157 children under the age of nine. Some blamed insufficient warnings from The National Weather Bureau for the massive death toll. A Cameron resident sued the bureau for causing the deaths of his wife and five children through negligence. The court, however, ruled in favour of the bureau, forcing numerous similar cases to be withdrawn.

Hurricane Diana (September 11 - 16 1984)
Area affected: North and South Carolina
Peak wind speed: 132mph
In 1984, the US National Weather Service described Hurricane Diana as the worst storm to hit the US for 30 years. In anticipation of the storm, 14,000 people were evacuated from costal residencies to higher ground. However, when the storm seemed likely to stay at sea, many returned home. The 500,000 residents of Wilmington, North Carolina were caught by surprise when Diana veered westward and hit the costal area. There were only two reported deaths, but material damage was extensive with 75% of the local population left without electricity. Joe McQueen, sheriff of New Hanover, reported looting in the local shopping centre.

Hurricane Andrew (August 16 - 28 1992)
Area affected: Bahamas, South Florida, Louisiana
Peak wind speed: 165 mph
On this occasion, New Orleans narrowly missed devastation. The eye of the storm instead passed close to Morgan City and Lafayette, Louisiana, but caused most destruction in the Bahamas and southern Florida. Miami-Dade boasted the strongest hurricane building code in the US, but this proved insufficient to prevent 26 deaths and damage to over 100,000 homes. High-speed winds also blew the weather radar and the anemometer off the roof of the National Hurricane Centre's offices. Hurricane Andrew has, until now, been considered the most expensive of US hurricanes with the total cost of damages estimated at $34.9 billion.

Hurricane Charley, Hurricane Frances, Hurricane Ivan and Hurricane Jeanne (August 13 - September 26 2004)
Area affected: The Caribbean, Alabama, Florida, Texas, Louisiana
Peak wind speed: 165mph
(Hurricane Ivan) In a period of six weeks, Florida was hit by four major hurricanes. Hurricane Ivan was particularly destructive, killing a total of 108 people in the US and the Caribbean. Hurricane Charley caused an estimated $14 billion of damage, including $150 million worth of Florida oranges, making it the third most expensive hurricane in US history.

This article was amended on 30 April 2010. The original gave the date of Hurricane Andrew as August 22 - 26 1922. This has been corrected.


Hurricanes and Tropical Storms Affecting Belize Since 1930

Since 1930, there have been 16 Hurricanes, 8 of which were Major Hurricanes, that have either made landfall in Belize or passed close enough to cause damage or loss of life. Additionally, 17 systems made landfall in Belize as Tropical Storms. Below is a brief synopsis of each of those storms. Most of the information comes from the USA's National Hurricane Center's archives. The Category Icon for each storm is the strength of the storm when it affected Belize. Click on any image to see the full size picture or map.

YearStorm NameCat.
1931Storm 53
1931Storm Fourteen1
1942Storm Ten1
1945Storm Ten1
1955Hurricane Janet5
1961Hurricane Anna1
1961Hurricane Hattie5
1969Hurricane Francelia1
1974Hurricane Fifi2
1978Hurricane Greta2
1998Hurricane Mitch5
2000Hurricane Keith4
2001Hurricane Iris4
2007Hurricane Dean5
2007Hurricane Felix5
2010Hurricane Richard1

Only two tropical systems reached hurricane status in 1931. One Of those, Storm Five, became a major Category 4 hurricane with 135 mph winds. The hurricane made landfall at Belize City on 10 September killing approximately 2,500 people. At landfall, the storm had maximum sustained winds of 135 mph (215 km/h) and a minimum central pressure of 952 mbar. Although weaker than Hurricane Hattie of 1961, it remains the deadliest hurricane and natural disaster in British Honduras (Belize) history.

The other storm to become a Hurricane in 1931 was Storm Six. It made landfall just across the Rio Hondo in Mexico as a Tropical Storm than became a Hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. One other system, Storm Two also made landfall in Belize as a Tropical Storm that year.

Storm Seven was first observed as a Tropical Storm east of the Lesser Antilles on September 25th. It rapidly intensified as it moved westward, reaching a peak of 120 mph winds the next day. It crossed through the northern islands on the 26th, and struck Puerto Rico on the 27th. After devastating the islands the storm weakened as it headed westward. It made its final landfall in Northern Belize on October 1st as a Tropical Storm, then crossed the Yucatan Peninsula before dissipating on October 3 over Mexico. Later known as The San Ciprian Hurricane, it left 225 people dead and caused $30 million in damage.

Storm Eight formed on October 7th in the central Caribbean Sea northeast of Honduras. It headed northwest, and made landfall in Belize as a Tropical Storm on October 10. It continued north-northwestward across the Yucatan Peninsula. It then emerged into the southern Gulf of Mexico on October 12and made a second landfall in Louisiana on October 15. It weakened to tropical depression status on October 16 in central Alabama before dissipating in southwestern West Virginia.

Storm Fourteen developed into a tropical storm over the western Caribbean Sea off the coast of Guatemala. It moved slowly northward and strengthened, becoming a hurricane on September 12 just east of Belize. On the next day, the hurricane made landfall on the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, also impacting Northern Belize and the off shore Cayes. The system weakened to a tropical storm as it moved northwestward across the Yucatan Peninsula. On September 14 it again regained hurricane status over the Bay of Campeche. The hurricane struck Tampico on September 15 and then dissipated. The 960 mb pressure reading is the lowest recorded in any storm that did not become a Category 2 hurricane.

Storm Seventeen developed on September 28 from an area of disturbed weather to the east of Costa Rica. It tracked to the north-northwest and passed near Cabo Gracias a Dios early on September 29. The storm turned to the west into the Gulf of Honduras, and on September 30, it made landfall on east-central Belize as a Tropical Storm. Shortly thereafter, the system dissipated.

Storm Two carved an erratic path through Central America and the Gulf of Mexico, causing catastrophic flooding that killed thousands. It formed in the Gulf of Honduras in early June and slowly moved north and then west into Belize as as Tropical Storm. Over the next four days, it made a slow loop over the same general region of Central America. It went down through Guatemala and El Salvador and then back north into Honduras and the western Caribbean. Still hugging the coast, it strengthened into a hurricane, making landfall north of Majahual, Mexico on the Yucatan Peninsula. It weakened back to a storm as it began to move west across the northern part of the peninsula and into the Bay of Campeche. The storm slowed down further, making a tight (and rare second) counterclockwise loop then turning northward and gaining speed. It regained hurricane status, making landfall in Louisiana at Point au Fer Island on the east end of Atchafalaya Bay. The scale of the destruction in Central America was immense. As many as 3,000 people died in the catastrophic floods. Many places saw in excess of two feet of rain in just 72 hours.

Storm Five formed from a disturbance off the north coast of Honduras on October 11 and almost immediately crossed into Belize as a Tropical Storm, heading north up the Yucatan peninsula and into the Gulf of Mexico, where it began to move erratically. In the central Gulf it made a rather sudden turn toward Florida on October 13. However, a couple of days later, Storm Five slowed down and began to turn back toward the west northwest finally making landfall along the north Texas coast near Freeport.

Storm Six formed just east of Bluefields, Nicaragua on September 19. It moved northwestward, hitting that country shortly thereafter moved into the Gulf of Honduras on the 20th. Early the next day, the storm made landfall in Belize as a Tropical Storm. After crossing the Yucatan Peninsula it moved across the Gulf of Mexico. As it neared the Texan coast, it slowed and turned to the east paralleling the Texas and Louisiana coastlines before making landfall on the 24th over southern Louisiana.

The exact origin of Storm Four is not known. It is assumed that the storm formed from a tropical wave moving off the coast of Africa. It was already a tropical storm when it was detected 75 miles northwest of Barbados. Moving almost due west, the storm passed south of St Lucia and entered the Caribbean Sea. The storm then rapidly reached hurricane strength as it continued due west. On September 27, the hurricane strengthened into a category 3 hurricane with maximum winds of 120 mph before making landfall in northeastern Nicaragua. Still maintaining hurricane strength, the storm crashed though Honduras bringing 100 mph winds to the country. After briefly passing over the Gulf of Honduras, the hurricane made a second landfall in Belize as a moderate tropical storm on September 28. The storm then moved inland though Guatemala and the southern Yucatan Peninsula before emerging in the Bay of Campeche as a tropical depression, dissipating as it made landfall in Veracruz, Mexico.

About 30-50 people died in what became known as the Central America Hurricane of 1941. The town of Cape Gracias was leveled by the hurricanes 120 mph winds, most of the buildings including a weather station were ether severely damaged or destroyed. Along the coast, the storm brought a storm surge of 6 feet which caused severe damage to coastal communities. There was also minor damage to the islands off the coast of Belize.

Storm Four formed roughly 100 miles northeast of Barbados in mid September and moved on a steady west-northwest track, not strengthening much. Its winds never rose above 50 mph. Storm Four turned more to the west after it passed south of Jamaica and struck northern Belize as a weakening tropical storm. It dissipated shortly thereafter.

Storm Ten was first seen over the northern Lesser Antilles on November 5 as a Tropical Storm headed west-northwestward. It became a hurricane on the 6th over the southern Bahamas. A ridge of high pressure to its north forced the storm west-southwestward, where it hit Cuba later that day. After weakening over the island, the now tropical storm re-strengthened to a hurricane on the 8th over the western Caribbean Sea. It attained a peak of 95 mph (153 km/h) winds before hitting Belize on the 9th. After crossing the Yucatan Peninsula, the ridge of high pressure built to its northwest, forcing the storm back southeastward. It hit the western Yucatan Peninsula again on the 11th, and dissipated shortly thereafter over land.

The final storm of the season, Storm Ten was a weak system that formed in the western Caribbean Sea on October 20 and curved northwest and then west, paralleling the coast of Honduras but remaining well offshore. Winds in this storm never rose above 45 mph. It began to curve back southwest on the 22nd, clipping the coast of southern Belize and making landfall on the Guatemalan coast six hours later as a weak tropical storm.

On August 29, a Storm Six formed in the western Caribbean Sea and quickly became a Tropical Storm. It moved northeastward, turned to the west, and made landfall in Belize on August 31 where it caused heavy rains and high tides. The system weakened to a depression after moving inland on September 1, and the remnants dissipated over interior Central America shortly thereafter.

First detected as a Tropical Storm on October 2, Storm Ten moved westward across the western Caribbean. It reached a peak of 95 mph winds, and hit southern Belize on October 4. It maintained its circulation across Central America, and hit Acapulco, Mexico on October 5 as a weakening tropical depression. The hurricane caused severe damage in southern Belize and northwestern Guatemala, but no damage figures exist.

In 1953 the United States began using female names for Tropical Storms and Hurricanes

Tropical Storm Gilda formed in the Central Caribbean Sea on September 24. It moved westward, reaching a peak of 70 mph winds before hitting Belize on the 27th. Gilda caused heavy rains and flooding, leading to 29 deaths and extensive flooding. No damage figures are available.

Hurricane Janet: On the 27th of September, 1955, Janet reduced Corozal Town into rubble with sustained winds reached up to 175mph. These devastating winds also produced massive flooding in the northern districts. There were 16 deaths, and 20,000 people left homeless. Though tragic, it also created an opportunity for rebuilding. Henry. C. Fairweather and Philip Goldson spearheaded the creation if a new township, complete with modern electricity, water, and sewage.

September 26, US Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft Snowcloud Five, operating out of NAS Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, headed south-southwest over the Caribbean into Janet. At that time Janet was a Category 4 hurricane packing winds over 140 mph. The plane never returned, lost at sea while penetrating the eye of the storm.

Lost were:
Lt. Cmdr. Grover B. Windham Jr. - Plane Commander
LTjg Thomas R. Morgan - Navigator
LTjg George W. Herlong - Co-Pilot
Aviation Electronics Technician Second Class Julius J. Mann
LTjg Thomas L. Greaney - Navigator
Aviation Mechanic First Class J. P. Windham, Jr.
Airman Kenneth L. Klegg
Aviation Electronics Man First Class Joseph F. Combs
Aerologist William A. Buck

The world's first weather satellite, the polar-orbiting TIROS I, was successfully launched from the Air Force Missile Test Center at Cape Canaveral, Fla., on April 1, 1960.

The tropical depression that became Hurricane Abby developed east of the Lesser Antilles on July 10, from a tropical wave. As it crossed the islands, it rapidly strengthened into a hurricane that night. Abby remained disorganized while crossing the Caribbean Sea, and weakened back to a tropical storm on the 13th. It became better organized while approaching the coast of Belize, and reached a peak of 85 mph before hitting the country on the 15th. Abby dissipated the next day over Mexico, after causing around $600,000 (1960 USD) in damage. The storm killed six people in St. Lucia. Abby's remnants crossed over into the Pacific and later become Hurricane Celeste.

Hurricane Anna reached her peak of 115 mph in the South West Caribbean on July 21, 1955. After landfall in Honduras on the 23rd, Anne weakened it to a Category 2 storm. Anna caused heavy flooding in Honduras as it continued westward, crossing into Belize on the 24th as a minimal hurricane, and dissipated shortly thereafter. No Belize damage reports are available.

Hurricane Hattie landed just south of Belize City with a central pressure of 920mb and sustained winds of 155mph winds with gusts to 200mph.

The eye passed between Belize City and Dangriga. The accompanying storm surge killed more than 400 people and left thousands homeless. Almost half of Belize City was demolished by the storm. It was this hurricane that caused George Price, and his People's United Party (PUP) to relocate the Capital City from Belize City to the safer location of Belmopan.

The barrier islands of Turneffe and Caulker Cayes were totally submerged by the 13 foot storm surge. Hattie then brought her massive surge to the mainland, flattening all buildings near the shore. Stann Creek, a small fishing village on the coast near Belize City, was completely destroyed. Following the hurricane, the village was rebuilt and renamed Hattieville.

The geostationary satellite experiment began in 1966 with the launch of the first satellite of the Applications Technology Satellite (ATS) series. ATS-1, launched on December 7, 1966, carried an instrument capable of providing continuous images of the earth, and an instrument that enabled the transmission of data to and from ground stations.

Hurricane Francelia hit southern Belize with 90mph winds on Sept. 4th. Francelia nearly stalled off the coast of Belize and brought prolonged rainfall with extensive flooding. The Belize River rose to over 36 feet above normal. The storm affected thousands of people and caused extensive damage to crops. Over 100 people were killed in Central America.

Hurricane Edith was the strongest hurricane to form during the 1971 Atlantic hurricane season. It developed from a tropical wave on September 5 and quickly strengthened into a hurricane in the Caribbean Sea. Edith rapidly intensified on September 9 and made landfall on Cape Gracias a Dios as a Category 5 hurricane. It quickly lost intensity over Central America and after briefly entering the Gulf of Honduras it made landfall near Belize City as a weak Tropical Storm then crossed the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. After moving across the Gulf of Mexico a trough turned the storm to the northeast and Edith, after having re-strengthened while accelerating towards the coast, made landfall on Louisiana with winds of 105 mph (170 km/h) on September 16. Edith steadily weakened over land and dissipated over Georgia on September 18.

Edith killed two people when it passed near Aruba. Striking northeastern Central America as a Category 5 hurricane, the storm destroyed hundreds of homes and killed at least 35 people.

Tropical Storm Laura Began as a large, sprawling cloud mass originating over Panama and formed a tropical depression on November 12 in the Caribbean Sea. Two days after its formation, it became a tropical storm northeast of the coast of Honduras.

Laura moved to the northwest for the following days due to an approaching cold front, but when a high pressure built to its north on the 16th, Laura executed a small loop just south of Cuba. Here Laura reached her peak intensity of 70 mph. As Laura moved to the southwest, she weakened drastically, but managed to regain her peak intensity prior to her landfall on Belize (then known as British Honduras) on the 21st. Laura dissipated the next day over Central America

On May 17, 1974 the first of two experimental SMS satellites, (Synchronous Meteorological Satellite) was launched from Cape Canaveral, Fl. SMS-1 carried a Visible Infrared Spin Scan Radiometer (VISSR), a Space Environment Monitor (SEM), and a Data Collection System (DCS). The satellite continuously monitored broad areas of the Earth, obtained both day and night data, and collected and relayed data from over 10,000 central ground stations.

On October 16, 1975, the first satellite under the GOES Program (Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite) was launched. Thus began the modern era of Satellite assisted weather forecasting.

Hurricane Fifi made landfall as a Category 2 storm in Belize on the 19th, with 85 to 120mph winds reported in Belize City and tides 10 to 12 ft. above normal. The storm continued through Guatemala and Mexico as a tropical system. After weakening to a depression, Fifi emerged into the Pacific Ocean, Fifi in 1 day dumped up to 24 inches of rain on neighboring Honduras. The resulting landslides and floods killed an estimated 8,000 people, making Fifi the 2nd deadliest Atlantic hurricane. In 1989 Hurricane Mitch bumped Fifi to third place in this infamous category.

Hurricane Greta made landfall on September 19th in the Stann Creek District of southern Belize. Belize City tides were 6 feet above normal in some locations. Improved warnings by the governments of Honduras, Belize, and their neighbors reduced the death toll to five, with one death in Honduras and four deaths in Belize.

In 1979 the United States began using both male and female names for Atlantic Basin storms

Tropical Storm Hermine began as an African tropical wave. It organized into a tropical storm off the coast of Honduras on September 21. After grazing Honduras, a disorganized made landfall just north of Belize City on the 22nd. After crossing the Yucatan Peninsula, Hermine briefly emerged over the Bay of Campeche where it re-strengthened before recurving back into the Mexican coast. The storm drifted inland and its surface dissipated on September 26. The remnant disturbance tracked around the southern and western periphery of Mexico over the next few days.

Hermine caused freshwater flooding in Mexico. Storm total rainfall across Mexico reached as high as 31.15 inches (791 mm) at San Pedro, Tapanatepec. No reports on Honduras and Belize were received by the NHC, but meteorologists stated that similar flooding likely occurred there as well.

No Troppical Cyclones affected Belize 1980.

Hurricane Mitch spared Belize its 160MPH winds but the torrential rains cause extensive damage to crops and roads. Mitch became the deadliest Atlantic hurricane since the Great Hurricane of 1780. Nearly eleven thousand people were confirmed dead, and almost as many were reported missing and never found.

Deaths were mostly from flooding and mud slides in Central America, where the slow-moving storm dropped nearly 3 feet of rain. The flooding and mud slides damaged or destroyed tens of thousands of homes, with total damage estimated to be over $6 billion.

Prior to Mitch, the deadliest hurricane to affect Central America was Hurricane Fifi in 1974, which killed an estimated 8,000–10,000 people, mostly in Honduras and Nicaragua.

The arrival of Hurricane Mitch ended a string of 16 years in which no tropical cyclone struck Belize

Hurricane Keith lingered just offshore Ambergris Caye as a Category 4 storm with 135mph winds, then slowly moved across Chetumal Bay which emptied out due to strong north winds. There was heavy damage on the cayes.

Tropical Storm Chantal moved across the Caribbean Sea in August 2001. Chantal developed from a tropical wave on August 14 in the tropical Atlantic Ocean. It tracked rapidly westward degenerating into a tropical wave it passed through the Windward Islands. Chantal reached a peak intensity of 70 miles per hour but never obtained hurricane status. On August 21 Chantal moved ashore near the border of Mexico and Belize, and the next day it dissipated.

Chantal produced a wind gust of 71 miles per hour on Caye Caulker, and stronger winds were possible in a convective band to the north. Moderate rainfall was reported across Belize, peaking at 9.81 inches at Towerhill station. Along the coast, high waves damaged sea walls and piers. Further inland, the combination of winds and flooding caused agriculture and infrastructure damage throughout Belize, with total damage estimated at $4 million (2001 USD).

This Tropical Storm produced wind gust up to 62 miles per hour in Chetumal. Chantal dropped moderate to heavy rainfall all along its path, with one station near Chetumal reporting total of 20.03 inches. The remnants of Chantal continued to produced rainfall along the coast of Bay of Campeche. The passage of the storm resulted in downed trees and power lines, as well as damaged buildings. Heavy rainfall led to mud slides across Quintana Roo, leaving some areas isolated. Overall damage was minor and no deaths were reported.

Hurricane Iris hit southern Belize on Oct 8th with 145mph winds causing major damage to nearly 95% of buildings in Placencia. From Sunday night, October 7th, 2001, when Iris just had winds of 90 mph until its landfall in Belize at around 11 PM EDT on Monday night, October 8th, Hurricane Iris developed into such a monster that it registered as the strongest hurricane of the 2001 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

In Belize, a total of 3,718 homes were destroyed by Iris' strong winds and 14 ft storm surge. Nineteen schools were destroyed and 12 others were damaged 21 governmental buildings were damaged, including two police stations that were destroyed. All power was lost to the affected regions, costing roughly $1.25 million to restore. Total damages to infrastructure was estimated at $8.15 million. The agricultural sector sustained severe damage and losses. Most livestock were killed during the storm, the shrimping industry lost 25% of their catch and large areas of farmland were inundated by flood waters. Losses in the agricultural industry were estimated at $74.5 million. 31 people were killed by the storm 20 of those were people on a dive boat, M/V Wave Dancer, when it capsized at the dock in Big Creek and eight others were listed as missing.

In Guatemala, high winds and heavy rains, generally amounting to 3 to 4 inches, triggered flash flooding, triggered flash flooding and landslides that killed at least 5 people and injured nearly 100 others. An estimated 27,500 people were affected by the storm throughout the country. In central Guatemala, 2,500 homes were damaged and along the Belize border, another 1,200 were destroyed.

Hurricane Dean, made landfall as a Category 5 storm only 25 miles north of the Belize/Mexico border. Dean caused extensive damage in northern Belize. Take a look at our Hurricane Dean information.

Hurricane Felix, another Category 5 storm passed to the South with great loss of life and property in Nicaragua and Honduras.

The USA's National Hurricane Center had Felix forecast to strike Belize near Belize City for several days before the storm decided to maintain it's westward track and leave Belize untouched.

Tropical Storm Arthur began in the Eastern Pacific and the rapidly developing system was named Tropical Storm Alma by the NHC at 1100 AM PDT Thursday, May 29th. Alma was the first storm of the 2008 Eastern Pacific Hurricane Season. Alma dissipated May 30th but all that moisture and energy had entered the Gulf of Honduras in the North West Caribbean. At 300PM CST the NHC named Tropical Storm Arthur, the first named storm of the 2008 Atlantic Hurricane Season, one day before the season's official start. When Arthur was named, the center had already made landfall in Northern Belize. For the complete story, visit our Tropical Storm Arthur page.

Around October 16th Tropical Depression 16 formed off the coast of Southern Belize. Record rainfall from this weak system caused unprecedented flooding throughout the country. For the whole story on DT-16 visit our Floods Of October page.

Hurricane Alex , the first Tropical Cyclone of the 2010 Atlantic Basin Hurricane, made landfall along the coast of Belize on Saturday June 26, 2010 at 5:00 p.m. TS Alex moved WNW at 8 mph with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph, storm surge of three to five ( 3-5) feet and rainfall of four to eight (4-8) inches were forecasted as the System moved inland. The "All Clear" for the system was issued at 7:30 a.m. Sunday, 27 June 2010. Alex caused heavy rains throughout Belize with pockets of gusty winds in excess of 40 knots in areas of Ambergris Caye, Corozal, Orange Walk and Belize Districts. There were no causalities directly related to Tropical Storm Alex. Initial economic losses estimated at BZ$2.5m.

Alex crossed the Yucatan Peninsula and strengthened into a Category One Hurricane before making landfall near the US / Mexico border. While there were no deaths associated with Alex in Belize, fourteen people were killed in Central America as a result of Alex related flooding: six in Nicaragua, six in El Salvador, and two in Guatemala. In Guatemala, 350 homes and eight highways were damaged, affecting 9,000 people.

In Northern Mexico, the storm caused severe devastation in Nuevo Leon, and in particular throughout the Monterey metropolitan area. State governor Rodrigo Medina de la Cruz called Alex the "Worst weather phenomenon in its history." In the municipality of Santa Catarina alone, 50,000 people were affected, with property damage being estimated at $93.5 million USD. Alex caused 12 deaths in Mexico.

With his lowest barometric pressure reading of 947 mbar, Alex became the most intense Atlantic hurricane in June since Hurricane Audrey, in 1957. Alex was therefore, the second most intense June hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic basin.

Hurricane Karl made his first landfall just north of Chetumal, Mexico with 65mph winds and heavy rain. Northern Belize receive tropical storm force winds and heavy rain from early morning Wednesday, September 15th until just before noon. Rain fall total in Consejo, Belize for the storm was 4.5 inches.

Karl crossed the Yucatan Peninsula through Wednesday and emerged in the Bay of Campeche where it rapidly regained all the strength lost passing over land. Early Friday morning, Karl under went rapid intensification, becoming a strong Category 3 Hurricane with 115mph winds, before making his second landfall 15 miles north the city of Veracruz, at 10:30am. The Government of Mexico has estimated damage caused by Karl at US$3.7 Billion. Media reports indicate that a total of 22 people were killed, with most of the deaths occurring in the Mexican State of Veracruz.

We sometimes forget that tropical systems affect more than the tropics or coastal areas.

Sept. 27, 2010: In Portage, Wisconsin, about 25 miles north of Madison, a sub-standard 120-year-old levee failed, thanks to flood waters 4.5 feet above flood stage on the Wisconsin River. The river was swollen by heavy rains of up to seven inches that fell in its watershed to the northwest. The rains were generated by a plume of very moist air associated with what was Hurricane Karl.

Tropical Storm Matthew made his first landfall near the Nicaragua / Honduras border Friday Sept. 24th around noon local time. The storm was packing 65mph winds and heavy rain. It retained Tropical Storm intensity even after crossing the mountains of Honduras. The storm spent a brief time over the waters of the NW Caribbean before making a second landfall in Southern Belize on Saturday, the 25th also about noon local time. Toledo and Stan Creek districts received heavy rain that caused moderate flooding with the resulting bridge closures. Northern Belize receive gale force winds and heavy rain in squalls from Friday night through Sunday Morning.

Matthew moved into Guatemala dumping heavy rain then into Mexico where the storm stalled and dissipated. Mexico also received flooding rains in the same region Hurricane Karl visited just 10 days earlier.

There were a total of 73 fatalities associated with Matthew. Sixty-five of these deaths occurred in Nicaragua. In Mexico seven fatalities were reported five in the state of Chiapas, and two in Nuevo Leon. One man drowned in El Salvador, and another man was reported missing.

No monetary damage estimates are available. In Guatemala, however, over 1,000 homes were reported damaged in Guatemala. In Honduras, 172 homes were damaged, several bridges and roads were damaged or destroyed, and rice, banana, and sugarcane crops were ruined. In Nicaragua, corn and bean harvests were also affected. Approximately 15,000 people in Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Honduras were evacuated because of the storm.

Hurricane Richard roared in from the sea the evening of Sunday, October 24th, crushing the picturesque village of Gales Point Manatee, which was directly in its path. Richard rampaged westward over open country to Belmopan, Roaring Creek, Camalote, Teakettle, Ontario and Unitedville, destroying village homes and tearing up the landscape. The storm pummeled central and southern Belize for 8 hours with winds of nearly 90 miles per hour and torrential rains. Richard cause most the nation to loose power, downed some of the tallest trees and electricity poles, ripped off roofing, banged up wooden homes, and left a trail of substantial wreckage in its path.

The hurricane was expected to be downgraded to a tropical storm after landfall, but Richard maintained winds of over hurricane force while within Belize's borders. The nation's capital, Belmopan, which was built 50 miles inland 29 years ago following Hurricane Hattie, experienced a strong category 1 hurricane with winds between 80 and 90 miles per hour.

Early reports claim 831 homes either partially or completely damaged across 55 communities, during the course of the hurricane. National Emergency Coordinator Noreen Fairweather puts the initial damage estimate at Bz$49.2 million with $34.7 million in losses to agriculture and $14.5 million due to damage to homes. These figures are likely to grow.

At least three deaths are linked to the hurricane. Brian Cullerton was mauled to death by a jaguar which escaped when his cage was struck by a fallen tree in the hurricane. The jaguar was recaptured and put down on Wednesday. Arturo Gilharry, one of three men trapped on the raging seas, died when the hurricane capsized their boat. Edmund Forte survived the ordeal but Barrington Gomez, the third man in the boat, could not be found and is presumed to have died.

Tropical Storm Harvey was the last in a record-breaking string of eight consecutive storms that reached only tropical storm status. It was also the only Tropical Cyclone of the 2011 season to make landfall in Belize.

high winds and heavy rain were noted in Dangriga,Belize during the storm, but there were no reports of damage or casualties there. In Mexico,three people were killed in San Lucas Zoquiapam, Oaxaca, due to a landslide hitting their home. Although no specific rainfall total are available, Harvey caused significant floods, and 334 homes were damaged in the municipality of Veracruz.

Hurricane Ernesto formed in the Atlantic, the first Cape Verde Storm of the season. After struggling with moderate shear and dry Saharan Air, Ernesto became a Tropical Storm as it entered the Eastern Caribbean. Continuing to struggle with less than ideal atmospheric conditions, Ernesto finally developed into a Cat 1 Hurricane just South of Jamacia.

Hurricane Ernesto made landfall just South of Mahahual, Mexico or about 45 miles North East of Consejo, Belize as a strong Category 1 storm with 85mph winds. Belize suffered minor wind damage and some severe flooding from the nearly 8" of rain dropped by the storm.

Barry was a tropical storm that produced heavy rainfall and flooding across portions of Central America, the Yucatan Peninsula, and eastern Mexico the flooding resulted in five direct deaths.


Watch the video: Malek Jandali Performs His Adaptation of Hurrian Hymn no. 6 (June 2022).


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  3. Drygedene

    Probably not

  4. Vudole

    This is funny information.



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