List of costliest Atlantic hurricanes

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Damage in Long Beach, Mississippi following Hurricane Katrina.

This is a list of costliest Atlantic hurricanes. Hurricanes, as defined by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), are tropical cyclones—a warm-core, non-frontal synoptic-scale cyclone, originating over tropical or subtropical waters with organized deep convection and a closed surface wind circulation about a well-defined center—in the Atlantic, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, or eastern Pacific, in which the maximum 1-minute sustained surface wind exceeds 64 kts (74 mph) or greater. The hurricanes on the list below depict the severity of the damage the system has caused. Typically, if a hurricane has caused significant damage to a particular location, it is requested to be retired by the region the system affected. The costliest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic was Hurricane Katrina, which struck the coastline of Louisiana in August 2005, causing $108 billion (2005 USD) in property damage. The most recent, costliest hurricane was Hurricane Sandy, which struck the coastlines of Puerto Rico, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, and New England causing $68 billion in total cost (2012 USD) in late October 2012.

A majority of the costliest Atlantic hurricanes in recorded history have peaked as major hurricanes. However, weaker tropical cyclones can still cause widespread damage. Both tropical storms Allison in 2001 and Matthew in 2010 have caused over a billion in damage; the former of which accounted for a higher damage total. Due to their excessive damage, the names of tropical cyclones accruing over $1 billion in damage are often retired by the World Meteorological Organization. However, this is not always the case. Hurricane Juan in 1985 was the first hurricane to cause over a billion in damage and not be retired; its name was retired on a later usage in 2003 that did not cause over a billion in damage. Since Juan, five tropical cyclones that caused over a billion in damage were not retired, the most recent of which being Hurricane Isaac in 2012. All other 39 Atlantic hurricanes to have caused as much damage have had their names retired.

The first hurricane to cause over $1 billion in damage was Hurricane Betsy in 1965, which caused much of its damage in southeastern Louisiana. Four years later, Hurricane Camille slightly exceeded Betsy's damage total after affecting similar regions, becoming the second tropical cyclone to cause as much damage. After the 1960s, each decade saw an increase in tropical cyclones causing at least a billion in damage over the last, due to increasing urban development and population. In the 1970s, four hurricanes caused over a billion in damage; the costliest of which was Hurricane Frederic, which caused $2.3 billion in damage, particularly in the Southeastern United States. The following decade featured seven hurricanes causing in excess of a billion in damage. In the 1990s, nine tropical cyclones accrued more than a billion in damage. Hurricane Andrew in 1992 greatly exceeded the damage figure of any preceding tropical cyclone after causing $26.5 billion in damage, mostly in South Florida. Seventeen tropical cyclones in the 2000s caused in excess of $1 billion in damage. Both 2004 and 2005 seasons had five billion-dollar hurricanes apiece, the most of any season on record. Hurricane Ivan caused at least a billion in damage in three separate countries. Thus far in the 2010s, six tropical cyclones have amounted to over $1 billion in damage.

Overall costliest[edit]

High water marker in Portsmouth, North Carolina listing water levels for flooding caused by hurricanes: Isabel, Gloria, Alex, Dennis, Ophelia, Gustav, Emily, and several unnamed storms.

This list ranks tropical cyclones within the Atlantic that have accrued at least US$1 billion in damage, based on their uninflated damage totals.

  Was the costliest Atlantic hurricane upon its dissipation
Costliest Atlantic hurricanes
Name Damage
(Billions USD)
Deaths Season Storm classification
at peak intensity
Areas affected References
Katrina $125.0 1,833 2005 Category 5 hurricane [1]
Sandy $71.4 286 2012 Category 3 hurricane [2][3][4]
Ike $37.5 195 2008 Category 4 hurricane [5][6][7]
Wilma $29.3 23 2005 Category 5 hurricane [8][9][10][11]
Andrew $26.5 65 1992 Category 5 hurricane
  • The Bahamas
  • Florida
  • United States Gulf Coast
[5][12]
Ivan $23.3 124 2004 Category 5 hurricane
  • The Caribbean
  • Venezuela
  • United States Gulf Coast
[5][13][14]
Irene $16.6 56 2011 Category 3 hurricane
  • The Caribbean
  • United States East Coast
  • Eastern Canada
[15][16][17]
Charley $15.1 40 2004 Category 4 hurricane [18]
Rita $12.0 62 2005 Category 5 hurricane
  • Cuba
  • United States Gulf Coast
[19]
Frances $9.85 49 2004 Category 4 hurricane
  • The Caribbean
  • Eastern United States
  • Ontario
[5][13][20][21]
Georges $9.72 604 1998 Category 4 hurricane
  • The Caribbean
  • United States Gulf Coast
[5][22][23][24][25][26]
Allison $9.0 50 2001 Tropical storm
[5][27]
Jeanne $7.66 3,035 2004 Category 3 hurricane
  • The Caribbean
  • Eastern United States
[5][13][28][29]
Hugo $8.5 56 1989 Category 5 hurricane
  • The Caribbean
  • United States East Coast
[5][30]
Floyd $6.9 56 1999 Category 4 hurricane
[5][31]
Gustav $6.61 112 2008 Category 4 hurricane [5][6]
Mitch $6.2 19,325+ 1998 Category 5 hurricane [32][33][34]
Karl $5.6 22 2010 Category 3 hurricane [35][36]
Opal $5.41 27 1995 Category 4 hurricane
  • Guatemala
  • Yucatán Peninsula
  • Eastern United States
[5][37]
Isabel $5.37 50 2003 Category 5 hurricane
  • Greater Antilles
  • The Bahamas
  • Eastern United States
  • Ontario
[5][38]
Gilbert $5.0 318 1988 Category 5 hurricane
[39]
Fran $4.16 26 1996 Category 3 hurricane
  • Eastern United States
  • Ontario
[5]
Dennis $4.0 89 2005 Category 4 hurricane
[5][8][40]
Stan $3.96 1,668 2005 Category 1 hurricane
  • Mexico
  • Central America
[28][41]
Matthew $2.6 126 2010 Tropical storm
  • Venezuela
  • Jamaica
  • Central America
[42][43][44][45]
Luis $2.5 19 1995 Category 4 hurricane [37]
Frederic $2.3 12 1979 Category 4 hurricane
  • The Caribbean
  • Southeastern United States
[46]
Isaac $2.3 41 2012 Category 1 hurricane
  • The Caribbean
  • Eastern United States
[47]
Michelle $2.15 48 2001 Category 4 hurricane
  • Central America
  • Jamaica
  • Cuba
  • The Bahamas
[24][27]
Agnes $2.1 124 1972 Category 1 hurricane
  • Mexico
  • Cuba
  • Eastern United States
[5][48]
Alicia $2.0 21 1983 Category 3 hurricane
[49]
Joan $2.0 216 1988 Category 4 hurricane
  • Lesser Antilles
  • Colombia
  • Venezuela
  • Central America
[39]
Alex $1.885 52 2010 Category 2 hurricane
  • Central America
  • Greater Antilles
  • Texas
[50][51][52][53]
Fifi $1.8 8,000+ 1974 Category 2 hurricane
  • Jamaica
  • Central America
  • Mexico
[54][55]
Dean $1.78 45 2007 Category 5 hurricane
  • The Caribbean
  • Central America
[28][56]
David $1.54 2,068 1979 Category 5 hurricane
  • The Caribbean
  • United States East Coast
[28][46]
Bob $1.5 17 1991 Category 3 hurricane
  • United States East Coast
  • Canada
[57]
Ingrid $1.5 32 2013 Category 1 hurricane
  • Mexico
[5]
Juan $1.5 74 1985 Category 1 hurricane
  • United States Gulf Coast
[5]
Marilyn $1.5 8 1995 Category 3 hurricane
  • The Caribbean
  • Bermuda
[5][37]
Roxanne $1.5 14 1995 Category 3 hurricane
  • Mexico
[37]
Betsy $1.42 81 1965 Category 4 hurricane
  • The Caribbean
  • Southeastern United States
[5]
Camille $1.42 256 1969 Category 5 hurricane
  • Cuba
  • United States Gulf Coast
[5]
Isidore $1.3 17 2002 Category 3 hurricane
[58][59]
Elena $1.25 9 1985 Category 3 hurricane
  • Cuba
  • United States Gulf Coast
[60]
Allen $1.24 269 1980 Category 5 hurricane
[28][61][62]
Dolly $1.05 17 2008 Category 2 hurricane
[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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