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Deadly and expensiveIt's too soon to say how much damage Hurricane Harvey inflicted on Houston in late August, but the total will likely be astounding.
Harvey will hardly be the first storm to cause destruction, however: Since 1965, at least 27 hurricanes have each resulted in damages of $1 billion or more, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
In a 2011 report, NOAA tallied "the deadliest, costliest and most intense" hurricanes to hit the United States from 1851 to 2010. These tallies are not adjusted for inflation but show just how expensive these storms can be.
Read on to see the 20 costliest and most damaging hurricanes to hit the United States in recorded history, according to NOAA.
No. 20: Agnes, 1972Slide 2 of 41
No. 20: Agnes, 1972Agnes, the first named storm of the 1972 hurricane season, reached hurricane strength on June 18, over the Gulf of Mexico. It made landfall on June 19 in Florida as a Category 1 hurricane with wind speeds measuring 74 mph (119 km/h), but its impact grew more dramatic after it traveled northward. On June 23, Agnes combined with a low-pressure system to bring drenching rainfall of up to 14 inches (35 centimeters) to states along the U.S.' northeastern coast, with up to 19 inches (48 cm) soaking parts of western Pennsylvania.
Though Agnes was considered a "weak" storm by hurricane standards, the damage caused by its floodwaters was considerable. By the time the storm dissipated, on June 25, severe flooding from the Carolinas to New York had caused 122 deaths and made Agnes the costliest hurricane to date.
Total damage: $2.1 billion
Original article on .Slide 3 of 41
No. 19: Frederic, 1979Slide 4 of 41
No. 19: Frederic, 1979Frederic made landfall on Dauphin Island, Alabama, on Sept. 12, 1979, as a Category 3 hurricane, with peak wind speeds of 145 mph (233 km/h). The storm's high-speed gusts downed trees and destroyed structures across Alabama and Mississippi, leading to blocked roads and causing power outages that lasted for weeks in some areas. A storm surge of 12 to 15 feet (4 to 5 m) caused damage to buildings that extended for 80 miles (129 km) along the Alabama coast.
Approximately 500,000 people were evacuated from the central Gulf Coast region ahead of the hurricane. Though the storm caused five deaths, a report generated Sept. 13, 1979, by NOAA praised agencies and volunteers for the evacuation efforts responsible for keeping many people safe, saying that their actions "undoubtedly saved hundreds of lives."
Total damage: $2.3 billionSlide 5 of 41
No. 18: Dennis, 2005Slide 6 of 41
No. 18: Dennis, 2005Dennis roared into Cuba on July 8, 2005, with winds gusting up to 145 mph (233 km/h). It weakened briefly, but then regained hurricane strength over the Gulf of Mexico. It touched down in western Florida on July 10 as a Category 3 hurricane, with peak wind speeds of 121 mph (195 km/h). After crossing into southwestern Alabama, Dennis weakened to a tropical storm and continued northward.
The relatively small and fast-moving storm produced less rainfall than other major hurricanes, averaging about 3 to 5 inches (8 to 12 cm) in most of the region it affected. Much of northwest Florida's cotton crop suffered damage due to high winds and rain, and two U.S. Air Force bases in Florida reported storm damage totaling more than half a billion dollars, the NWS reported. Three people died as a result of the storm, and their deaths were due to improper use of electrical generators, according to the NWS.
Total damage $2.55 billionSlide 7 of 41
No. 17: Georges, 1998Slide 8 of 41