Top Deadliest Hurricanes

Hurricane from Above

Here are the Top Ten Deadliest Hurricanes in the United States. Listed below are the tropical cyclones that have caused at least 25 deaths on the U.S. mainland.

Mainland U.S. tropical cyclones causing 25 or greater deaths

  1. 1900 Texas (Galveston) Category 4. 8,000–12,000 deaths.
  2. 1928 Florida (SE/Lake Okeechobee) Category 4. 2,500 deaths.
  3. 2005 Katrina (SE LA/MS) Category 3. 1,500 deaths.
  4. 1893 LA (Cheniere Caminanda) Category 4. 1,100–1,400 deaths.
  5. 1893 SC/GA (Sea Islands) Category 3. 1,000–2,000 deaths.
  6. 1881 GA/SC Category 2. 700 deaths.
  7. 1957 Audrey (SW LA / N TX) Category 4. 416 deaths.
  8. 1935 (FL Keys) Category 5. 408 deaths.
  9. 1856 LA (Last Island) Category 4. 400 deaths.
  10. 1926 FL (Miami, MS/AL/Pensacola) Category 4. 372 deaths.

This list covers the time period from 1851 to 2017. There have been no additions to this “top 10 deadliest hurricanes list” since 2005.

The first, most deadly hurricane was the 1900 Galveston Hurricane, responsible for at least 8000 deaths! It’s not surprising that Florida and Texas rank so highly. In general, about 39% of hurricanes that hit the United States strike the state of Florida. Also, about two-thirds of the strongest hurricanes (Class 4 or 5) make landfall on either the Florida or Texas coast.

Many readers ask about the 2005 Hurricane Katrina. This fairly recent hurricane ranks third on the “most deadly” list, with an estimated 1200 deaths.

Blow not against the hurricane.”

See this year’s Hurricane Forecast—plus, common hurricane questions and answers.


National Hurricane Center

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