Skip to content

5 of the Worst Hurricanes in Florida's History

A Closer Look at Some of Florida's Worst Hurricanes

Every year, people around the world are glued to their televisions as they watch the latest hurricanes roll through Florida and other coastal areas. If you're talking numbers alone, Florida has been hit by more hurricanes than any other state in the country. The state has also seen the greatest loss of life and damage in the country. Due to the unpredictability of hurricanes, it makes sense that Florida residents need to be prepared for hurricanes every year, and they need to prepare for the worst. The team at USA Home Improvement has been helping Florida residents prepare for hurricanes for years, always working under the assumption that it's better to be fully prepared than sorry later.

Below are some of the most devastating hurricanes to ever have hit Florida in recorded history.

Hurricane Andrew - 1992

1992's Hurricane Andrew was one of the most devastating hurricanes to hit the US, and it decimated parts of Florida. Its category five wind strength cut a path of destruction through the state, boasting maximum sustained wind speeds of nearly 165 miles per hour when it hit land on August 24. In terms of damage, over 25,524 homes were destroyed, while another 101, 241 sustained severe damage.

The storm tide surged to nearly 17 feet high at Burger King's international headquarters, but most surges topped out at 6 feet in the Biscayne Bay area. The hurricane caused roughly $25 billion of damage in the state, and 44 people died. Fifteen perished directly from the storm, while 29 died as an indirect result.

Labor Day Hurricane - 1935

Based on pressure and wind speed, 1935's Labor Day hurricane is considered the strongest hurricane to make landfall in the US When the storm hit land its maximum sustained wind speeds reached 185 miles per hour. In certain areas of the Florida Keys, the storm surge reached as high as 20 feet. The loss of life was devastating, with 409 people reported dead in the Keys. Of those fatalities, 259 were World War I veterans working on a railway line to connect the Keys.

Hurricane Donna - 1960

Hurricane Donna, a deadly storm that hit South Florida in 1960, became the fifth strongest hurricane to hit the US Wind speeds topped 150 miles per hour, and the surge was over 11 feet tall. The devastation was intense, with nearly 857 homes in Miami-Dade County destroyed. One of the most iconic images from the storm was that of a 104-foot freighter pushed up onto an island. Once Donna was finished with Florida, she traveled up the coast, hitting every state along the way from South Carolina to New York and up through New England. By the time she reached these northern states, however, she'd calmed down to a category two storm.

Okeechobee Hurricane - 1928

When it comes to sheer loss of life, 1928's Okeechobee hurricane was one of the worst hurricanes in US history. Considered the seventh strongest hurricane to hit the contiguous United States, it made landfall near West Palm Beach on September 16. When it was all over, 2,500 people had died in Florida, most of whom drowned in Lake Okeechobee. Belle Glade had 611 recorded deaths. As the hurricane was crossing Lake Okeechobee, the dike on the south side collapsed, allowing millions of gallons of water to spread over hundreds of square miles. In some places, the water was 20 feet deep. When the storm reached the other side, the winds moved southward, causing the dike on the north side of the lake to fail as well.

Hurricane Irma - 2017

Hurricane Irma was another powerful storm that impacted nearly the entire state of Florida. By the time the storm made landfall on Cudjoe Key on September 10, it was posting wind speeds of 130 miles per hour. It hit Marco Island later in the day as a category three hurricane with 115-mile-per-hour winds. At one point, nearly a third of Florida was without power.

Is your home ready to survive this hurricane season? Speak to the team at USA Home Improvement at 844-468-7244 to make sure that your residence is secure, no matter how intense the storm.