Many of us are still taking in the damage, destruction and humbling force of Superstorm Sandy.  This incredible weather event has created a lot of new interest in other devastating hurricanes. I heard a program on NPR about a report issued from the National Weather Service (NWS) National Hurricane Center. The title alone says it all…

The Deadliest, Costliest, and Most Intense United States Tropical Cyclones
from 1851 to 2010 (and Other Frequently Requested Hurricane Facts)

The report breaks down storms in two categories:

  • The deadliest from 1851-2010
  • The most expensive from 1900 to 2010 (monetary damages aren’t available for the earlier storms)

One fact really stands out when you look over the information: six of the 10 costliest storms occurred between 2000 and 2010 — even after adjusting for inflation.  Wow!

The report goes on to discuss that our population and our cities are much bigger today than they were 100 years ago, and our standard of living is higher. Which means that a megastorm today, can destroy much more stuff simply because there is much more stuff out there to destroy.

Given that premise, the authors went back and looked at the historical hurricanes and estimated how much damage they would be likely to do if they hit the same area in 2010. That picture looks quite different.

Gr Pm Sandyadjusted 616

Happy reading!