Billion Dollar Storms – Here is a complete list of tropical storms and hurricanes causing at least $1 billion in damage to the U.S. since 2000. (Listed chronologically.)
Hurricane Irene, August 2011. Category 1 hurricane made landfall over coastal NC and moved northward along the mid-Atlantic Coast (NC, VA, MD, NJ, NY, CT, RI, MA, VT) causing torrential rainfall and flooding across the Northeast. Over seven million homes and business lost power during the storm. Damage estimated to be $9.8 billion.
Tropical Storm Lee, September 2011. Wind and flood damage across the Southeast (LA, MS, AL, GA, TN), followed by considerably more damage from record flooding across the Northeast (PA, NY, NJ, CT, VA, MD). Pennsylvania and New York were most affected. Property damage estimated at $1.3 billion.
Hurricane Ike, September 2008. Ike made landfall over the north end of Galveston Island in the early morning hours of September 13 as a Category 2 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 110 mph. Ike's storm surge devastated the Bolivar Peninsula of Texas, and surge, winds, and flooding from heavy rains caused widespread damage in other portions of southeastern Texas, western Louisiana, and Arkansas. Twenty people were killed in these areas, with 34 others still missing. Property damage from Ike as a hurricane is estimated at $19.3 billion. Additionally, as an extratropical system over the Ohio valley, Ike was directly or indirectly responsible for 28 deaths and more than $1 billion in property damage.
Hurricane Gustav, September 2008. Category 2 Hurricane made landfall in Lousiana, causing significant wind, storm surge and flooding damage in LA, AL, AR and MS. Mandatory evacuation of New Orleans to shelters throughout the region led to the largest evacuation in the city’s history. Damage estimated at $5 billion.
Hurricane Wilma, October 2005. The massive and powerful Wilma formed from a broad area of disturbed weather that stretched across much of the Caribbean Sea during the second week of October. The eye crossed the Florida Peninsula in less than five hours, moving into the Atlantic just north of Palm Beach as a Category 2 hurricane. Wilma briefly re-intensified just east of Florida, then weakened thereafter. Twenty-two deaths have been directly attributed to Wilma: 12 in Haiti, 1 in Jamaica, 4 in Mexico, and 5 in Florida. The hurricane caused severe damage in northeastern Yucatan, including Cancun and Cozumel, and widespread damage estimated at $16.8 billion in southern Florida. Wilma also produced major floods in western Cuba.
Hurricane Rita, September 2005. Category 3 hurricane hits Texas-Louisiana border coastal region, creating significant storm surge and wind damage along the coast, and some inland flooding in the FL panhandle, MS, LA, AR, and TX. Prior to landfall, Rita reached the third lowest pressure (897 mb) ever recorded in the Atlantic basin. Preliminary estimate of over $8 billion in damage/costs; 119 deaths reported—most being indirect (many related to evacuations).
Hurricane Katrina, August 2005. Category 4 hurricane initially impacts the U.S. as a Category 1 near Miami, FL, then as a Category 4 along the eastern LA-western MS coastlines, resulting in severe storm surge damage (maximum surge probably exceeded 25 feet) along the LA-MS-AL coasts, wind damage, and the failure of parts of the levee system in New Orleans. Inland effects included high winds and some flooding in the states of AL, MS, FL, TN, KY, IN, OH, and GA. Preliminary estimate of well over $100 billion in damage/costs, making this the most expensive natural disaster in U.S.history; over 1200 deaths—the highest U.S. total since the 1928 major hurricane in southern Florida.
Hurricane Dennis, July 2005. Category 3 hurricane makes landfall in western Florida panhandle resulting in storm surge and wind damage along the FL-AL coasts, along with scattered wind and flood damage in GA, MS, and TN. Preliminary estimate of over $2 billion in damage/costs; at least 12 deaths.
Hurricane Jeanne, September 2004. Category 3 hurricane makes landfall in east-central Florida, causing considerable wind, storm surge, and flooding damage inFL, with some flood damage also in the states of GA, SC, NC, VA, MD, DE, NJ, PA, and NY. Puerto Rico also affected. Estimate of over $6.9 billion in damage/costs;at least 28 deaths.
Hurricane Ivan, September 2004. Category 3 hurricane makes landfall on Gulf coast of Alabama, with significant wind, storm surge, and flooding damage in coastal AL and FL panhandle, along with wind/flood damage in the states of GA, MS, LA, SC, NC, VA, WV, MD, TN, KY, OH, DE, NJ, PA, and NY. Estimate of over $14 billion in damage/costs; at least 57 deaths.
Hurricane Frances, September 2004. Category 2 hurricane makes landfall in east-central Florida, causing significant wind, storm surge, and flooding damage in FL, along with considerable flood damage in the states of GA, SC, NC, and NY due to 5-15 inch rains. Estimate of approximately $9 billion in damage/costs; at least 48 deaths.
Hurricane Charley August 2004. Category 4 hurricane makes landfall in southwest Florida, resulting in major wind and some storm surge damage in FL, along with some damage in the states of SC and NC. Estimate of approximately $15 billion in damage/costs; at least 34 deaths.
Hurricane Isabel, September 2003. Category 2 hurricane makes landfall in eastern North Carolina, causing considerable storm surge damage along the coasts of NC, VA, and MD, with wind damage and some flooding due to 4-12 inch rains in NC, VA, MD, DE, WV, NJ, NY, and PA; approximately $5 billion in damage/costs; 55 deaths.
Tropical Storm Allison, June 2001. The persistent remnants of Tropical Storm Allison produce rainfall amounts of 30-40 inches in portions of coastal Texas and Louisiana, causing severe flooding especially in the Houston area, then moves slowly northeastward; fatalities and significant damage reported in TX, LA, MS,FL, VA, and PA; estimate of approximately $5.0 billion in damage/costs; at least 43 deaths.
Source: Compiled by WWL-TV from National Weather Service, “Hurricanes in History,” and National Climatic Data Center, “Billion Dollar Weather Disasters.”