10. Hurricane San Ciriaco 1899
Hurricane San Ciriaco, also known as the 1899 Puerto Rico Hurricane, San Ciriaco Hurricane, or 1899 Hurricane San Ciriaco, was an intense and long-lived Atlantic Cape Verde-type hurricane which crossed Puerto Rico over the two day period August 8 to August 9, 1899, causing many deaths from the flooding.
It kept tropical storm strength or higher for 28 days, which makes it the longest duration Atlantic hurricane on record and the second-longest anywhere in the world.
The tropical storm that later ravaged Puerto Rico developed on August 3 in the tropical Atlantic. It moved in a west-northwest direction, becoming a hurricane on the 5th. As it neared the northern Lesser Antilles, it strengthened into a major hurricane, bringing heavy winds to Dominica, St. Kitts, and Guadeloupe on the 7th. It continued to intensify to its peak of 150 mph before hitting southeast Puerto Rico on the 8th. It crossed the island in an east-southeast to west-northwest direction, causing maximum wind speeds between 110 and 140 mph throughout. After it passed Puerto Rico, it brushed northern Dominican Republic as a Category 3 hurricane, but passed north enough to not cause major damage.
It passed through the Bahamas, retaining its strength as it moved slowly northward. After drifting northeastward, the hurricane turned northwestward, hitting the Outer Banks on August 17. It drifted northeastward over the state, re-emerging into the Atlantic on the 19th. It continued eastward, where it became extra-tropical on the 22nd. The extra-tropical cyclone turned southeastward where, on August 26, it became a tropical storm again. Like most of the rest of its lifetime, it drifted, first to the northwest then to the east. It strengthened as it moved eastward, and on September 3, as it was moving through the Azores, it again became a hurricane. The intensification didn't last long, and the hurricane became extra-tropical for good on the 4th. It dissipated that day while racing across the northeastern Atlantic. Estimates of people killed range from 3,100 to 3,400, with millions of dollars in crop damage in Puerto Rico. North Carolina fared a little better, but still had considerable tobacco and corn damage from the longevity of the strong winds and rain, making this hurricane the 10th deadliest in history.
9. 1928 Okeechobee Hurricane
The Okeechobee Hurricane or Hurricane San Felipe Segundo was a deadly hurricane that struck the Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, and Florida in September 1928.
It was the first recorded hurricane to reach Category 5 status and as of 2006, it remains the only recorded hurricane to strike Puerto Rico at Category 5 strength. The hurricane caused devastation throughout its path, as many as 1,200 people were killed in Guadeloupe, Puerto Rico struck directly by the storm at peak strength, killed at least 300 and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless. The 160 mph (260 km/h) wind measurement from Puerto Rico was taken by a cup anemometer in San Juan, 30 miles (50 km) north of the storm's center, which measured 160 mph (260 km/h) sustained winds three hours before the peak wind speed was reached; however, the instrument was destroyed soon after and could not be calibrated. The hurricane was also extremely large as it crossed Puerto Rico. Hurricane-force winds were measured in Guayama for 18 hours; since the storm is estimated to have been moving at 13 mph (21 km/h), the diameter of the storm's hurricane winds was estimated very roughly to be 234 miles (376 km). At least 10 inches (250 mm) of rain was dropped over the entire island. Official reports stated that "several hundred thousand" people were left homeless, and property damages were estimated at $50 million 1928 US dollars.
The eye of the hurricane passed just south of Grand Bahama as a strong Category 4 hurricane, again causing very heavy damage. Unlike Puerto Rico, authorities in the Bahamas were aware of the hurricane's passage well ahead of time, and preparations minimized the loss of life in the islands.
In south Florida at least 2,500 were killed when storm surge from Lake Okeechobee breached the dike surrounding the lake, flooding an area covering hundreds of square miles. Coastal damage in Florida near the point of landfall was catastrophic. Miami, well south of the point of landfall, escaped with very little damage; Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale suffered only slight damages.
Northward, from Pompano Beach to Jupiter, buildings suffered serious damage from the heavy winds and 10 ft (3 meter) storm surge, which was heaviest in the vicinity of Palm Beach; total coastal damages were estimated as "several million" dollars. Because of the well-issued hurricane warnings, residents were prepared for the storm, and the loss of life in the coastal Palm Beach area was only 26.
Inland, the hurricane wreaked much more widespread destruction along the more heavily populated coast of Lake Okeechobee. Residents had been warned to evacuate the low ground earlier in the day, but the hurricane did not arrive on schedule so people returned to their homes. The worst of the storm crossed the lake with winds measured on the ground at around 140 mph (225 km/h) -- the south-blowing wind caused a storm surge to overflow the small dike that had been built at the south end of the lake. The resulting flood covered an area of hundreds of square miles with water in some places over 20 ft (6 m) deep. Houses floated off of their foundations and destroyed hitting any obstacle they encountered. Most survivors and bodies were washed out into the Everglades where many of the bodies were never found. As the rear eye wall passed over the area, the flood reversed itself, breaking the dikes along the northern coast of the lake and causing a similar but smaller flood.
Floodwaters persisted for several weeks, impeding attempts to clean up the devastation. Burial services were quickly overwhelmed, and many of the bodies were placed into mass graves. The Red Cross estimated the number of fatalities as 1,836, which was taken as the official count by the National Weather Service for many years; older sources usually list 3,411 as the total count of fatalities, including the Caribbean. However, in 2003 this was revised as "at least" 2,500, making the Okeechobee hurricane 9th deadliest hurricane. In total, the hurricane killed at least 4,075 people and caused around $100 million 1928 US dollars in damages over the course of its path.
8. Newfoundland Hurricane of 1775
A letter from New Bern, North Carolina recounted, "We had a violent hurricane...which has done a vast deal of damage here, at the Bar, and at Matamuskeet, near 150 lives being lost at the Bar, and 15 in one neighborhood at Matamuskeet."
The Newfoundland Hurricane of 1775 is also known as the Independence Hurricane. It was a hurricane that hit Newfoundland in September of 1775 and is believed to have killed at least 4,000 people.
A storm struck the eastern coast of Newfoundland on September 9, 1775. It is uncertain if this storm was the remnants of the hurricane that had crossed the Outer Banks over a week earlier; if so, it was probably extra tropical by this time.
Newfoundland's fisheries "received a very severe stroke from the violence of the wind, which almost swept everything before it," the colonial governor Richard Duff wrote shortly after it struck. "A considerable number of boats, with their crews, have been totally lost, several vessels wrecked on the shores," he said. Ocean levels rose to heights "scarcely ever known before" and caused great devastation, Duff reported.
A total of 4,000 sailors, mostly from England and Ireland, were reported to have been drowned, a localized storm surge is reported to have reached heights of between 20 and 30 feet. Losses from the hurricane include many fishing boats and two armed schooners of the Royal Navy, who were on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland to enforced Britain's fishing rights.
The hurricane is Atlantic Canada's first recorded hurricane and Canada's most tragic natural disaster (and by far the deadliest hurricane to ever hit Canada), as well as the eighth deadliest hurricane in history.
7. Atlantic hurricane 1766
In 1766 there was a severe hurricane in Jamaica around the islands of the West Indies. Captain John Leaycroft, who was a member of the Leaycraft family of Beaufort North Carolina, was in Jamaica days afterwards and his report was published in the Virginia Gazette on 24th October 1766. His claim says "it came in at 10am continued without abating until 5pm and has done considerable damage".
The hurricane moving northward through the Carolinas affected a Revolutionary War battle in Virginia; it caused supply ships to sink in the Chesapeake Bay area.
September 4th, 1766: The hurricane hits Galveston.
A mission named San Augustine de Ahumado, located in what is now considered Chambers County, was destroyed. Storm surges of 7 feet flooded the area. A richly-laden treasure fleet of 5 galleons en route from Vera Cruz to Havana was driven ashore and had to wait many weeks for assistance to come. Fortunately, much of the treasure and people aboard were saved.
The powerful hurricane hit Martinique on September 5.
It hit Pointe-a-Pitre Bay, Guade