1. unnamed
Galveston, Texas
September 1900
Death toll: 8,000-12,000 estimated

The deadliest natural disaster in U.S. history, the Galveston hurricane of 1900 is estimated to have killed between 8,000 and 12,000 people. The Category 4 hurricane struck on September 8, 1900, leveling 12 city blocks, nearly three-quarters of the island city of Galveston, Texas. Read Complete Galveston Hurricane Story

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2. unnamed
Lake Okeechobee, Florida
September 1928
Death toll: 1,836

This Category 4 hurricane ravaged Puerto Rico, and residents of Florida had little warning before the powerful storm slammed into the Lake Okeechobee area near Palm Beach. The storm breached a levee around the lake -- and most of the storm victims drowned.

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3. unnamed
Florida Keys and Corpus Christi, Texas
September 1919
Death toll: 600 to 900

This Category 4 storm went over the Keys, crossed the Gulf of Mexico and hit Corpus Christi, Texas. Many of the victims were aboard ships at sea. Bob Simpson, co-developer of the Saffir-Simpson scale used to measure hurricane strength, was forced to flee the storm as a teen in Corpus Christi.

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4. unnamed
New England
September 1938
Death toll: At least 600

The Category 3 storm struck Long Island on September 21, 1938, at high tide and brought hurricane-force winds all across New England. Rainfall from this hurricane resulted in severe river flooding across sections of New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut. More than 8,000 homes were destroyed, mostly by a storm surge of 12 to 16 feet, and some 6,000 boats wrecked or damaged.

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5. unnamed
Florida Keys
September 1935
Death toll: 423

The "Great Labor Day" storm was the most intense Category 5 hurricane to make landfall in the United States. Its winds were strong enough to derail a train sent to rescue World War I veterans who had been working on a government building project in the Keys.

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6. Hurricane Audrey
Southwest Louisiana, Northeast Texas
June 1957
Death toll: 390

The Category 4 storm hit during the night of June 26, 1957, flooding the low-lying areas of coastal Louisiana. Many of its victims thought they had a day left to leave the area, but the storm accelerated. A 12-foot storm surge moved water as far as 25 miles inland.

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7. unnamed
Northeastern United States
September 1944
Death toll: 394

The Category 3 "Great Atlantic Hurricane" slowly moved up the East Coast and brushed Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, before bringing 90 mph gusts to downtown Norfolk, Virginia, on September 14, 1944. It then dumped heavy rains on the Northeast. More than 300 of the deaths were people lost at sea.

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8. unnamed
Grand Isle Louisiana
September 1909
Death toll: At least 350

The Grand Isle Hurricane came ashore on September 20, 1909, at Berwick before passing inland between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. The Category 4 storm caused $6 million of damage and its 15-foot storm surge inundated much of southern Louisiana.

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9. unnamed
New Orleans, Louisiana
September 1915
Death toll: 275

This Category 4 storm caused Lake Pontchartrain to overflow its banks, killing 275 people. That scenario is one that hurricane experts don't like to ponder because if the city, surrounded on three sides by water, is hit by a major hurricane, the storm surge might inundate the city.

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10. unnamed
Galveston, Texas
1915
Death toll: 275

A second Category 4 strike on the Gulf of Mexico coast in the same year: Galveston had constructed a seawall after the devastation of the 1900 hurricane. Still, 275 people died when the 1915 storm hit.

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