Costliest hurricanes of all time

Written by:
August 27, 2020
Jeffrey Greenberg // Getty Images

Costliest hurricanes of all time

Hurricane Laura made landfall as a Category 4 storm in Louisiana in the early hours of Aug. 27, with the National Hurricane Center issuing a warning of an "unsurvivable" storm surge to follow along the Gulf Coast.

A single hurricane can cause billions of dollars in damage, not to mention the physical and emotional toll it takes on those in its path. In just the last several years, hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria have caused extensive damage and death tolls, with the full impact of Laura coming into sharper focus in the coming days and weeks.

2020's Atlantic hurricane season spans from June 1 to Nov. 30. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)  predicted a busier hurricane season than normal—an expectation that was exceeded by a record-setting nine named storms that formed before Aug. 1. Preparation for this year's storms is different from years past due to the coronavirus, with additional shelters, the wearing of masks, and increased hygiene protocols in place to prevent COVID-19 transmission.

Hurricane recovery plans include everything from the basic distribution of food and water supplies to rebuilding highways, energy grid improvements, and far-reaching infrastructure upgrades.

Stacker took a look at NOAA data to extrapolate the costliest hurricanes of all time. In this gallery, you’ll find the category of the storm, the year it occurred, and the region it impacted. The data includes hurricanes that impacted Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the cost listed is in current U.S. dollars which have been adjusted for inflation. This data also addresses the cost of these hurricanes to the U.S. (and its territories), not to other countries or regions. More information on the methodology can be found at the National Hurrican Center.

Read on for the costliest hurricanes of all time.

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Susana Gonzalez // Getty Images

#39. Isidore

- Estimated cost: $1.64 billion
- Start date: Sept. 25, 2002
- End date: Sept. 27, 2002
- Deaths: 5

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Joe Raedle // Getty Images

#38. Alberto

- Estimated cost: $1.77 billion
- Start date: July 7, 1994
- End date: July 10, 1994
- Deaths: 32

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Jay Phagan // Wikimedia Commons

#37. Allen

- Estimated cost: $1.96 billion
- Start date: Aug. 7, 1980
- End date: Aug. 11, 1980
- Deaths: 13

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Mark Reinstein/Corbis // Getty Images

#36. Gloria

- Estimated cost: $2.10 billion
- Start date: Sept. 26, 1985
- End date: Sept. 28, 1985
- Deaths: 11

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Joanne Rathe/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

#35. Bob

- Estimated cost: $2.89 billion
- Start date: Aug. 18, 1991
- End date: Aug. 20, 1991
- Deaths: 18

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Cheryl Gerber // Getty Images

#34. Lee

- Estimated cost: $2.94 billion
- Start date: Sept. 1, 2011
- End date: Sept. 5, 2011
- Deaths: 21

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Mario Tama // Getty Images

#33. Isaac

- Estimated cost: $3.15 billion
- Start date: Aug. 26, 2012
- End date: Aug. 31, 2012
- Deaths: 9

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Bettman // Getty Images

#32. Elena

- Estimated cost: $3.18 billion
- Start date: Aug. 30, 1985
- End date: Sept. 3, 1985
- Deaths: 4

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JOHN ALTHOUSE/AFP // Getty Images

#31. Dennis

- Estimated cost: $3.39 billion
- Start date: July 9, 2005
- End date: July 11, 2005
- Deaths: 15

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Tana R. Hamilton // Wikimedia Commons

#30. Marilyn

- Estimated cost: $3.61 billion
- Start date: Sept. 15, 1995
- End date: Sept. 17, 1995
- Deaths: 13

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Figure8 // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Juan

- Estimated cost: $3.67 billion
- Start date: Oct. 27, 1985
- End date: Oct. 31, 1985
- Deaths: 63

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Thomas B. Shea // Getty Images

#28. Imelda

- Estimated cost: $5.05 billion
- Start date: Sept. 17, 2019
- End date: Sept. 21, 2019
- Deaths: 5

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FEMA News Photo // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Iniki

- Estimated cost: $5.80 billion
- Start date: Sept. 11, 1992
- End date: Sept. 12, 1992
- Deaths: 7

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THONY BELIZAIRE/AFP via Getty Images

#26. Gustav

- Estimated cost: $7.38 billion
- Start date: Aug. 31, 2008
- End date: Sept. 3, 2008
- Deaths: 53

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Carol Guzy/The Washington Post via Getty Images

#25. Isabel

- Estimated cost: $7.79 billion
- Start date: Sept. 18, 2003
- End date: Sept. 19, 2003
- Deaths: 55

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Bettmann // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Alicia

- Estimated cost: $7.92 billion
- Start date: Aug. 17, 1983
- End date: Aug. 20, 1983
- Deaths: 21

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DOUG COLLIER // Getty Images

#23. Opal

- Estimated cost: $8.07 billion
- Start date: Oct. 4, 1995
- End date: Oct. 6, 1995
- Deaths: 27

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DOUG COLLIER/AFP via Getty Images

#22. Fran

- Estimated cost: $8.41 billion
- Start date: Sept. 5, 1996
- End date: Sept. 8, 1996
- Deaths: 37

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FEMA/Dave Gatley // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Georges

- Estimated cost: $9.58 billion
- Start date: Sept. 20, 1998
- End date: Sept. 29, 1998
- Deaths: 16

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Fema // Getty Images

#20. Floyd

- Estimated cost: $10.19 billion
- Start date: Sept. 14, 1999
- End date: Sept. 16, 1999
- Deaths: 77

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Jeffrey Greenberg // Getty Images

#19. Jeanne

- Estimated cost: $10.50 billion
- Start date: Sept. 15, 2004
- End date: Sept. 29, 2004
- Deaths: 28

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Sean Rayford // Getty Images

#18. Matthew

- Estimated cost: $10.90 billion
- Start date: Oct. 8, 2016
- End date: Oct. 12, 2016
- Deaths: 49

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JAMES NIELSEN/AFP via Getty Images

#17. Allison

- Estimated cost: $12.61 billion
- Start date: June 5, 2001
- End date: June 17, 2001
- Deaths: 43

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#16. Frances

- Estimated cost: $13.72 billion
- Start date: Sept. 3, 2004
- End date: Sept. 9, 2004
- Deaths: 48

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#15. Irene

- Estimated cost: $15.79 billion
- Start date: Aug. 26, 2011
- End date: Aug. 28, 2011
- Deaths: 45

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philippe giraud/Sygma via Getty Images

#14. Hugo

- Estimated cost: $19.26 billion
- Start date: Sept. 21, 1989
- End date: Sept. 22, 1989
- Deaths: 86

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Jeffrey Greenberg // Getty Images

#13. Charley

- Estimated cost: $22.40 billion
- Start date: Aug. 13, 2004
- End date: Aug. 14, 2004
- Deaths: 35

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Sean Rayford// Getty Images

#12. Florence

- Estimated cost: $24.48 billion
- Start date: Sept. 13, 2018
- End date: Sept. 16, 2018
- Deaths: 53

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Brian Vander Brug // Getty Images

#11. Rita

- Estimated cost: $25.16 billion
- Start date: Sept. 20, 2005
- End date: Sept. 24, 2005
- Deaths: 119

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Scott Olson // Getty Images

#10. Michael

- Estimated cost: $25.47 billion
- Start date: Oct. 10, 2018
- End date: Oct. 11, 2018
- Deaths: 49

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ANTONIO LEVY/AFP via Getty Images

#9. Wilma

- Estimated cost: $25.84 billion
- Start date: Oct. 24, 2005
- End date: Oct. 24, 2005
- Deaths: 35

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Joe Sohm/Visions of America // Getty Images

#8. Ivan

- Estimated cost: $28.70 billion
- Start date: Sept. 12, 2004
- End date: Sept. 21, 2004
- Deaths: 57

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Paul Flipse/US Air Force // Getty Images

#7. Ike

- Estimated cost: $36.90 billion
- Start date: Sept. 12, 2008
- End date: Sept. 14, 2008
- Deaths: 112

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Steve Starr // Getty Images

#6. Andrew

- Estimated cost: $50.49 billion
- Start date: Aug. 23, 1992
- End date: Aug. 27, 1992
- Deaths: 61

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Jeffrey Greenberg // Getty Images

#5. Irma

- Estimated cost: $52.50 billion
- Start date: Sept. 6, 2017
- End date: Sept. 12, 2017
- Deaths: 97

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#4. Sandy

- Estimated cost: $74.15 billion
- Start date: Oct. 30, 2012
- End date: Oct. 31, 2012
- Deaths: 159

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The Washington Post // Getty Images

#3. Maria

- Estimated cost: $94.50 billion
- Start date: Sept. 19, 2017
- End date: Sept. 21, 2017
- Deaths: 2,981

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AFP Contributor // Getty Images

#2. Harvey

- Estimated cost: $131.25 billion
- Start date: Aug. 25, 2017
- End date: Aug. 31, 2017
- Deaths: 89

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ROBYN BECK // Getty Images

#1. Katrina

- Estimated cost: $170.04 billion
- Start date: Aug. 25, 2005
- End date: Aug. 30, 2005
- Deaths: 1,833

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