Hurricanes

The following table illustrates the 30 most costly tropical cyclones to strike the U.S. mainland, according to the National Weather Service's National Hurricane Center. (Damages are listed in U.S. dollars, inflation adjusted to the year 2004, with the exception of Katrina 2005.)

rank

hurricane

year

category

damage

1

Katrina (Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama)

2005

5

$S1,200,000,000

2

Andrew (southeast Florida, southeast Louisiana)

1992

5

$4S,6l2,000,000

S

Charley (southwest Florida)

2004

4

$15,000,000,000

4

Ivan (Alabama, northwest Florida)

2004

3

$14,200,000,000

5

Hugo (South Carolina)

19S9

4

$12,250,000,000

6

Agnes (Florida, U.S. Northeast)

19l2

1

$11,290,000,000

l

Betsy (southeast Florida, southeast Louisiana)

1965

3

$10,l99,500,000

S

Frances (Florida)

2004

2

$^900,000,000

9

Camille (Mississippi, southeast Louisiana, Virginia)

1969

5

$^9,000,000

10

Diane (U.S. Northeast)

1955

1

$6,99l,l00,000

(continues)

(continues)

(continued)

11

Jeanne (Florida)

2004

3

$6,900,000,000

12

Frederic (Alabama, Mississippi)

1979

3

$6,291,000,000

13

Great New England Hurricane, or Long Island Express (New York, New England states)

1938

3

$5,971,000,000

14

Allison (north Texas)

2001

Tropical storm

$5,829,000,000

15

Floyd (Mid-Atlantic states, U.S. Northeast)

1999

2

$5,764,000,000

16

Great Atlantic Hurricane (U.S. Northeast)

1944

3

$5,386,000,000

17

Fran (North Carolina)

1996

3

$4,525,000,000

18

Alicia (north Texas)

1983

3

$4,384,000,000

19

Opal (northwest Florida, Alabama)

1995

3

$4,324,000,000

20

Carol (U.S. Northeast)

1954

3

$3,949,000,000

21

Isabel (Mid-Atlantic states)

2003

2

$3,643,000,000

22

Juan (Louisiana)

1985

1

$3,105,000,000

23

Donna (Florida/ eastern United States)

1960

4

$3,040,000,000

24

Celia (south Texas)

1970

3

$2,761,000,000

25

Bob (North Carolina, U.S. Northeast)

1991

2

$2,593,000,000

26

Elena (Mississippi, Alabama, northwest Florida)

1985

3

$2,588,000,000

27

Carla (north and central Texas)

1961

4

$2,366,000,000

28

Great Miami Humane (Florida, Mississippi, Alabama)

1926

4

$2,058,000,000

29

Eloise (northwest Florida)

1975

3

$2,008,000,000

30

1915 Galveston hurricane (north Texas)

1915

2

$1,990,000,000

Source: NOAA

Source: NOAA

that compared to the 2005 hurricane season, 2006 was relatively quiet because it was an El Niño year. Scientists do not currently know, however, how global warming and climate change will affect El Niño.

Scientists acknowledge that with global warming, the resultant warmer sea surface temperatures and extra heat in the ocean serves as a means to generate destructive tropical storms. Experts also agree that as more people move to the coastal areas and continue to build and develop in vulnerable zones, there will continue to be disasters like Katrina in 2005, causing loss of life and extensive damage to property.

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