You never know when a hurricane or major storm will hit. While we have many modern technological tools that help us predict the weather, when it happens to you, you are never really prepared. In this post, we’ll take a look at ten of the most costly hurricanes that have hit the United States and what you can do if you are in an affected area.
1. Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast of the U.S. on August 29, 2005. It was a Category 3 storm on the Saffir-Simpson Hurrican Scale, bringing with it sustained winds of 100-140 mph. The path was over 400 miles in width. The storm was terrible but the aftermath was even worse causing levees to break, leading to massive flooding in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. There was enormous home displacement, and many reported that the federal government was slow to respond to the need. The total estimated damage is estimated to be around $108-250 billion.
2. Hurricane Harvey
This was the most recent hurricane to hit the Gulf of Mexico coast in early Fall 2017. The storm hit the Houston coast head-on, and many people in Texas were affected from the Category 4 storm that created over $180 billion in damage. The storm affected 13 million people including people in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Kentucky. The death toll was 82 people to date. Once the storm subsided, over 39,000 people lost their homes or were temporarily displaced. Dallas had to create a mega shelter to house the displaced homeowners.
3. Hurricane Irma
This hurricane made landfall on August 30, 2017, hitting the Florida coast first, then working its way up the eastern seaboard. Irma is responsible for around 134 deaths in the Florida area as well as some neighboring areas. It was considered one of the most devastating hurricanes to hit North America since Hurricane Wilma, which hit in 2005. Estimated home and other damage are said to top $100 billion. The storm left in its wake thousands of residents in the state of Florida and elsewhere, scrambling to save anything they could to relocate to relatives’ homes or shelters until they could attempt to return to their homes.
4. Hurricane Sandy
Hurricane Sandy was another five category storm that devastated the New Jersey coastline on October 29, 2012. It left behind at least 650,000 destroyed homes, 8 million customers without power, and 71.5 billion dollars in damage. (NOAA). It was ruled a category three storm but downgraded to a tropical storm by the time it hit landfall. States involved were New Jersey, New York, and Massachusetts.
5. Hurricane Ike
Ike is another storm that caught people by surprise, despite the various weather reports that predicted its arrival in 2008. Ike started as a tropical disturbance as many hurricanes do, then quickly strengthened into a tropical storm before hitting landfall as a hurricane on the Cuban coast, then moved northward where it hit Galveston, Texas on September 13, 2008. Many people were dislocated from their homes in Texas as well as many other affected areas. The storm was so intense that the winds from the hurricane continued to build somewhat even after it hit landfall, causing further damage in the Houston area, before moving up to the mid-southern states. The mid-south had some isolated tornadoes and severe storms as a result of the storm as it died down. Ike caused an estimated $29.5 billion in damage to homes and property.
6. Hurricane Andrew
Florida is used to hurricanes. Many who live there expect there to be a hurricane that directly affects them within at least a five-year period. But nothing could have prepared them for the effects of category five hurricane, Andrew that hit the Florida coast in 1992. It hit the Destin area coastline head on, and many people who were affected have since moved their homes away from the coast in case something like this ever happens again. Though it was a long time ago, the memory of such a ferocious storm is still fresh in the minds of some Floridians who say that they are just grateful to be alive. The storm is estimated to have caused around $26.5 billion in damage and dislocated thousands of homeowners.
7. Hurricane Wilma
Hurricane Wilma was a category 3 hurricane that bore down on the Florida coast on October 17, 2005. The damage to homes and property were massive, and winds exceeded 165 mph, which made it a category 5 for a short time, though the storm is considered a three by some standards. Thousands of people were affected by this torrential storm and the devastation that was left behind, and as a result, it is still remembered today by many Floridians. Unlike many similar hurricanes that have devastated the Florida coastline, this storm just traversed over the tip of the Florida peninsula, so people in this region were affected the most.
8. Hurricane Irene
Hurricane Irene was a sizeable Atlantic storm that left flood and wind damage along a path through the U.S. East Coast and as far north as Canada. It made landfall near North Carolina at Cape Lookout on August 27, 2011, and was classified as a category one storm. Irene is responsible for five deaths in North Carolina, and it also spawned several tornadoes, including an F-2 near Columbia that demolished at least four homes. In addition to the apparent initial damage from the storm itself, flooding inundated many areas that were in harm’s way, and over 17 inches of rain fell in the Beaufort, Craven, and Pamlico County areas. Storms this powerful are always unpredictable and leave more damage than ever predicted in most cases to homes and property.
9. Hurricane Charley
Hurricane Charley hit the Florida coast in 2004. It created an estimated $15 billion in damage. The year 2004 was an active hurricane year, and the arrival of Charley was no surprise. However, the damage and number of people displaced as a result of the storm took a long time to recover from. The hurricane had already devasted other areas before hitting the Florida coast where it traveled across the state, wreaking havoc wherever it hit. Charley was ruled a category four storm.
10. Hurricane Ivan
Another hurricane that hit the Florida coast (as well as the Alabama coast) in 2004 was Hurricane Ivan. It was considered a category three storm and caused an estimated $14.2 billion in damage. Ivan made landfall in Gulf Shores, Alabama on September 16, 2004 and packed winds in excess of 120mph. Thousands of people lost their homes or suffered severe damage from this storm that left behind the ravages of flooding, winds, and rain.
After the Storm
All of these devastating storms left a path of destruction that spanned hundreds of miles, affected thousands of homes, and displaced thousands of people who lived in these areas. After the storm, these people were in a frantic scramble to get their homes back in order as quickly as possible to get on with their lives.
The flooding, wind damage, and other effects of these storms remain a memory in the minds of the people affected. But their priority was to recover as quickly as they could and pick up the pieces of their lives.
Part of this recovery and healing process has to do with restoring their homes so that they could move back into their houses. Many had paid thousands of dollars into their homes, and they felt devastated by this loss.
Where to Get Help for Loss
FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Association, helped many people once they were able to file the paperwork and get the aid they needed. For others, flood insurance plans (if they had them) kicked in to cover the damages from the devastating hurricanes that occurred in these coastal areas.
It can happen anywhere
No matter where you live if you are in a coastal area or close by, it is possible that you could be hit by a hurricane or the flooding or remnants of storms such as these shortly. The two major hurricanes that hit the United States this year, Irma and Harvey both hit only one month apart. So the truth is that you never know how often or when they will occur. We can look at the data and predict, with some certainty when they are most likely to occur (September and October) or look at the fact that many of them hit in 2004. But the only thing we can predict with certainty is that hurricanes will hit occasionally, and you need to be prepared when they do.
Whether you were hit head-on or just suffered from the remnants of these storms, we are here to help our Houston and Dallas customers to start with the recovery and restoration process. When your home has been damaged by weather such as this, the best place to start is your foundation.
Home Foundation Repair
Repairing your foundation to its prior condition is paramount to getting your house back in order so that you can get on with your life. If you need a home foundation inspection or repair, contact us at 1-800-368-6328. We can help you pick up the pieces and move on with your life.