- Hurricane season starts June 1 and runs through November 30.
- The six deadliest hurricanes in US history each claimed more than 1,000 lives.
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June 1 marked the start of hurricane season, the six-month period in which strong storms form in warm tropical waters.
At the start of each hurricane season, researchers make predictions about how many severe storms the US is likely see and how strong they might be. This year is expected to be fairly normal, with four to eight hurricanes (defined as a storm with wind speeds of of 74 mph or higher), two to four of which could be category 3 or above (meaning wind speeds of at least 111 mph).
Hopefully, none of these will be on par with the most destructive storms in US history. Here’s what to know about the six deadliest hurricanes the country has ever experienced.
Cheniere Caminada hurricane: October, 1893
Bonnie Taylor Barry/Shutterstock
The Cheniere Caminada hurricane struck the Louisiana coast in early October, 1893. (Researchers had not yet started naming hurricanes at that time.) The category 4 storm claimed the lives of between 1,100 and 1,400 people, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). Cheniere Caminada is located about 100 miles south of New Orleans.
Sea Islands hurricane: August, 1893
US National Park Service/Reuters
In 1893 — the same year as the Cheniere Caminada hurricane — a category 3 storm swept through the coastal regions of South Carolina and Georgia. The hurricane’s impact was felt primarily in the Sea Islands, a group of more than 100 islands near the coastlines of South Carolina, Georgia, and northern Florida. It’s not known exactly how many people passed away due to the hurricane, but the NWS estimates the death toll to be between 1,000 to 2,000 people.
Hurricane Katrina: August, 2005
Hurricane Katrina made landfall in southeast Louisiana and Florida on August 29, 2005. In New Orleans, crucial levees broke, causing an estimated 80% of the city to be inundated. More than 1,800 people perished as a result of the storm across the Gulf Coast.
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