Most Destructive Florida Hurricanes
Hurricane Dorian has come and gone, and for some people it was not as destructive as they had feared. The Hurricane, which was at one point a Category 5, sat over the Bahamas for a couple days, which sapped it of power. It also was farther off coast than initially imagined, which helped Florida avoid a direct hit.
Nevertheless, any hurricane is a tragedy that can cause millions of dollars in damage and lead to deaths or injuries. Based on our best estimates, the hurricane killed 6 people in Florida and caused more than $500 million in property damage in the United States.
Below, we highlight some of the most destructive hurricanes to have hit our state. With the 2019 Hurricane Season not yet over, a new entrant might make the list.
Okeechobee Hurricane (1928)
This hurricane was only a Category 4, but when it made landfall near West Palm Beach it caused unimaginable destruction. The storm struck on September 16, 1928.
Over 2,500 were killed largely because of the flooding. The storm caused the dikes on both the north and south sides to fail, sending 20 feet of water over the nearby area. According to Accuweather.com, one town lost over 600 people alone.
Hurricane Andrew (1992)
Many people living today remember Andrew. A Category 5 hurricane, it had maximum winds registering 165 miles per hour when it made landfall on August 24, 1992.
The hurricane was so powerful that it destroyed more than 25,000 homes and damaged an additional 100,000. Some towns saw near total destruction of their housing stock.
Hurricane Andrew caused extensive damage totaling around $25 billion. For comparison’s sake, this is over 20 times more damage than Dorian caused. Hurricane Andrew also killed 44 people, 15 of whom were killed directly and 29 who were killed indirectly.
Labor Day Hurricane (1935)
This hurricane, which hit on Labor Day in 1935, had maximum sustained winds of 185 miles per hour—the highest ever (though tied with Dorian). The storm surge registered up to 20 feet in part of the Florida Keys.
Aerial photographs from the area show almost total devastation. Over 400 people were killed in the Keys alone.
Hurricane Irma (2017)
Irma was one of those storms that impacted almost the entire state. With maximum winds reaching 130 miles per hour, Irma made landfall on September 10, 2019. It was a Category 4 hurricane when it first hit and then a Category 3 when it made a second landfall.
Irma’s storm surge, coupled with the tide, caused inundation levels up to 10 feet. Even worse, Irma gave birth to over 20 tornadoes in the state, which also carved out significant paths of destruction.
According to the National Hurricane Center, Irma caused around $50 billion in damage for the entire state of Florida. This is twice the amount of damage as that caused by Hurricane Andrew and possibly 100 times the amount of damage caused by Dorian.
Contact a Daytona Beach Hurricane Insurance Claims Attorney
If you have made a claim with an insurance company and been denied, contact our Daytona Beach hurricane insurance claim attorneys. Bundza & Rodriguez is a leading law firm serving Volusia County, and we have built a significant practice in dealing with hurricane insurance claims. You can schedule a free consultation by calling 386-252-5170.