A look at some of history's most intense hurricanes - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

A look at some of history's most intense hurricanes

While forecasting has gotten better through the years, giving those in the path of a storm time to evacuate, even science can’t diminish the power of a well-developed hurricane. (Source: MGN Online) While forecasting has gotten better through the years, giving those in the path of a storm time to evacuate, even science can’t diminish the power of a well-developed hurricane. (Source: MGN Online)

(RNN) - While forecasting has gotten better through the years, giving those in the path of a storm time to evacuate, even science can’t diminish the power of a well-developed hurricane.

Here’s a look at some of the most intense hurricanes to hit the United States.

Labor Day hurricane, 1935: This hurricane is still ranked as the most intense hurricane to ever hit the U.S. nearly eight decades after it struck the Florida Keys. Residents in the area had very little warning or chance to evacuate, as the storm was predicted to pass south. Survivors told The Associated Press their families only knew something was wrong in the hours before landfall when their barometers began showing low readings. While no wind speeds are available, the storm’s pressure was measured at 892 millibars, one of the lowest ever recorded. The unnamed hurricane killed 408 people in the Keys, many of them World War I veterans working on a local construction project.

Hurricane Camille, 1969: Camille’s actual wind speed may never be known because, according to the National Hurricane Center, the storm destroyed all wind-recording instruments in its path at landfall. But a 2014 re-analysis of the storm estimates it packed top sustained winds of 175 miles per hour. The NHC ranks it as the second most intense storm on record to hit the United States. Camille killed 143 along the Gulf Coast and another 113 in Virginia due to flooding.

Hurricane Andrew, 1992: The National Hurricane Center calls Andrew “one of the most destructive United States hurricanes of record.” Andrew hit South Florida in August 1992, turned northward as it made its way back into the Gulf and made a second landfall in Louisiana as a Category 3. Originally categorized as a Category 4 story when it hit Florida, scientists later upgraded it to a Category 5, making it one of only three Category 5 storms to ever hit the U.S.

Unnamed Okeechobee Hurricane, 1928: This storm made landfall as a Category 4 near Palm Beach, FL, and prompted a massive surge of Lake Okeechobee. More than 1,800 people died in Florida, many as a result of the surge. The National Hurricane Center didn't start naming storms until the early 1950s.

Hurricane Donna, 1960: The fifth strongest storm on record to hit the U.S., according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Donna is the only storm to record hurricane-force winds in Florida, the Mid-Atlantic and New England. Donna hit South Florida as a Category 4 storm, cut across the peninsula and drove out into the Atlantic, where it made a second landfall in North Carolina. It trekked up the East Coast before making a third landfall in New England as a Category 2 storm.

Hurricane Katrina, 2005: Labeled as “one of the most devastating hurricanes in the history of the United States” by the National Hurricane Center, Katrina hit south Florida as a Category 1 storm before roaring to a Category 5 over the warm August waters of the Gulf of Mexico. While the storm weakened to a Category 3 before making landfall on the Louisiana coast, it is the most deadly storm since the Lake Okeechobee hurricane in 1928.

An updated estimate by the National Hurricane Center shows the storm was directly responsible for the deaths of 1,500 people died in Louisiana and Mississippi, many due to the unprecedented storm surge. 

"The scope of human suffering inflicted by Hurricane Katrina in the United States has been greater than that of any hurricane to strike this country in several generations," the report reads

Copyright 2014 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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