The Most Expensive Hurricanes In History

As if we didn't have enough problems, today marks the start of Hurricane Season. It runs until November 30th.

Forecasters are anticipating a moderate season. Specifically, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration anticipates 9 to 14 storms, including 4 to 7 hurricanes. Last year there were 8 hurricanes.

Of course, it's not the quantity of hurricanes that matters. It's the, um, quality. Specifically, it just takes one well-aimed doozy to destroy a city.

You can't really put a price tag on storm damage because they destroy a lot more than stuff. But the dollars sure do add up.

Here's a list of the 15 most expensive storms in US history, courtesy of Weather Underground. It puts the recession/banking/auto crisis in perspective (and not in a good way... AIG has already cost twice as much as Hurricane Katrina).

In 2001, Tropical Storm Allison caused $5 billion in damage. Affected areas: Texas, Louisiana.


Category 5 Hurricane Georges caused $6.3 billion in damage in 1998. Affected areas: Puerto Rico, Mississippi.


Hurricane Camille leveled Mississippi and Alabama in 1969 reaching category five and causing almost $7 billion in damage.


Category 3 Hurricane Jeanne caused $6.5 billion in damage in 2004. Affected area: Florida.


Reaching category 3, Hurricane Betsy caused some $8.52 billion in damage back in 1965. Affected areas: Florida, Louisiana.


Not the most fierce natural disaster – at category 1, Hurricane Agnes slammed the Northeast in 1972 causing $8.65 billion in damage.


Hurricane Frances hit Florida at category 2 strength, leaving $8.86 billion in damage behind in 2004.


Surging at category 4 in 1989, Hurricane Hugo caused $9.74 billion in damages. Affected area: South Carolina.


Hitting the South – already ravaged by Katrina, Hurricane Rita's damages totalled $10 billion in 2005. Affected areas: Louisiana, Texas.


Dubbed Ivan The Terrible, Hurricane Ivan (cat.# 3) slammed Grenada, Jamaica, Cuba and Mexico in 2004. Damages in Florida and Alabama amounted to $13 billion.

Hurricane Charley

Prior to Ivan, Hurricane Charley was stronger and costlier - reaching category 4 and $14 billion in damages to Florida.

Hurricane Ike

Hurricane Ike (cat.#2) was not the most powerful natural disaster, but it caused quite the property damage - $18 billion. Affected areas: Texas, Alabama, Mississippi.

Hurricane Wilma

The hurricane season of 2005 closed with Wilma, which hit Florida at category 3 and with $20.6 billion in damages.


The '90s most infamous hurricane, Andrew came in strong with category 5 and left $35 billion in damages. Affected areas: Southeast Florida, Southeast Louisiana.

Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina (cat. #3) – It slammed Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida, causing some $81 billion in damages, leaving almost 2,000 dead, with hundreds missing. The city of New Orleans still has not recovered, four years later

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