15 of the deadliest, most destructive American hurricanes in history

Hurricane season is in full force with Hurricane Joaquin’s debut on September 31.

The season, which lasts from June to the end of November for the Atlantic Ocean, has seen plenty of catastrophic storms that have hit the US over the years.

Here’s a look at some of the deadliest, most horrific storms of the past century, by decade.

Galveston, 1900: 8,000 to 12,000 deaths


The deadliest hurricane in US history happened at the turn of the 20th century. The Category 4 of 5 hurricane -- with winds anywhere from 130-156 mph -- made landfall in Galveston, Texas (pictured), then headed north through the Great Plains. Anywhere from 8,000 to 12,000 people died in the storm.

San Felipe Okeechobee, 1928: 2,500 deaths

West Palm Beach, Florida

This hurricane was the second deadliest in US history, with more than 2,500 deaths. The Category 4 storm made landfall in Palm Beach on September 10, 1928. Puertor Rico got hit hard as well, with winds at 144 mph.

Atlantic-Gulf, 1919: 600 to 900 deaths

Public Domain

This Category 4 storm swept into the Gulf of Mexico right under Key West, Florida(pictured), landing as a Category 3 storm in Corpus Christi, Texas. Anywhere from 600 to 900 people died in that storm.

Hurricane Audrey, 1957: 416 deaths


The US started naming storms with women's names starting in 1953. Hurricane Audrey, the first storm of the 1957 hurricane season was the deadliest of the 1950s. It originated in the Gulf of Mexico, making landfall in Texas as a Category 4 storm. This image of the storm shows just how far hurricane imaging has come.

New England, 1938: 256 deaths


Nicknamed 'Long Island Express,' the storm hit Puerto Rico as a Category 5 storm before charging north and hitting Long Island, New York and Connecticut as a Category 3 hurricane. The storm was responsible for more than 256 deaths.

Hurricane Camille, 1969: 256 deaths


Hurricane Camille formed in the Gulf of Mexico and hit Mississippi as a Category 5 storm. Camille caused more than 256 deaths and clocks in as the second most intense hurricane to hit the US.

Hurricane Agnes, 1972: 122 deaths


Hurricane Agnes, as seen in this image made it all the way inland to Pennsylvania. Although it was only a Category 1 storm (with winds from 74-95 mph), it still caused 122 deaths and caused $US2.1 billion in damage.

Great Atlantic Hurricane, 1944: 64 deaths


The Great Atlantic Hurricane of 1944 was also devastating to New England, with 64 deaths and more than $US100 million in damage. The storm was a Category 3 as it sped up the coast, hitting the Carolinas, Rhode Island, and Long Island before downgrading to a Category 2 in Maine.

Hurricane Floyd, 1999: 57 deaths


Hurricane Floyd was a catastrophic storm because of the rain it brought along. The rain caused extreme flooding from Noth Carolina on up as the Category 2 storm travelled up the East Coast.

Tropical Storm Allison, 2001: 41 deaths


While not an official hurricane, Allison clocks in as the costliest and deadliest tropical storm in US history, causing 41 deaths and costing more than $US5 billion in damage. The storm started over the Gulf of Mexico near Texas, then travelled east, causing floods like the one pictured here in Houston, Texas.

Hurricane Hugo, 1989: 21 deaths

Getty Images

Hurricane Hugo made landfall as a Category 4 storm in South Carolina. It caused 21 deaths in the US and resulted in $US7.1 billion of damage. At the time, it was the costliest storm in US history.

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