There are many factors that contribute to making a given hurricane the worst. There’s the attributes of the storm: category, wind speeds, pressure, diameter, speed, and path. And there’s the destruction it leaves behind: damage in dollars, the overall devastation to an area’s infrastructure, and of course, the number of lives claimed.
We took all these factors into consideration to make our list of the 8 nastiest hurricanes of the last 10 years, which follows in order of occurrence:
- Hurricane Charley (August, 2004): Hurricane Charley hit just 22 hours after Tropical Storm Bonnie and caught many Floridians off-guard due to a sudden
- change in its path as it approached. In sum, Hurricane Charley resulted in 10 deaths and $15.4 billion in damages.
- Hurricane Ivan (September, 2004): At its peak, Ivan was as large as the state of Texas and spawned 119 tornadoes in the eastern United States, costing $18 billion in damages.
- Hurricane Katrina (August, 2005): Hurricane Katrina is the deadliest US hurricane since 1928, sadly taking 1,833 lives, mostly as a result of a vicious storm surge in southeast Louisiana that catastrophically destroyed the New Orleans levee system.
- Hurricane Rita (September, 2005): Worsening effects from Hurricane Katrina, which hit just a month prior, Hurricane Rita resulted in severe flooding in Texas and Louisiana that lasted for weeks after. An estimated 120 lives were lost as a result.
- Hurricane Wilma (October, 2005): The 13th hurricane of the record-breaking 2005 season, Hurricane Wilma made landfall several times, resulting in at least 62 deaths and is the fifth costliest storm in US history.
- Hurricane Ike (September, 2008): The third-costliest US hurricane in history and the costliest to hit Texas, Hurricane Ike is blamed for at least 195 deaths and extreme coastal and inland flooding.
- Hurricane Irene (August, 2011): Making a total of 9 landfalls during its run, Hurricane Irene causing at least 56 deaths in the US and cost nearly $15.6 billion in damages, the 7th costliest hurricane in US history.
- Hurricane Sandy (October, 2012): Affecting 24 states along the Eastern seabord, Hurricane Sandy caused over $71 billion in damages making it the second-costliest hurricane in US history. And sadly, at least 285 people were killed in seven countries.
The reason more severe storms can cause less damage—and vice versa—lies in preparedness. The good news is that weather forecasting is constantly improving, meaning greater lead times before disaster strike.
Etón’s preparedness products, including the revolutionary ZoneGuard weather alert radio, aim to leverage these technological advances by making sure you and your family are aware of possible severe weather as soon as possible.
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