Hurricane IanAs a powerful Category 4 hurricane on Wednesday – just a few mph above Category 5. Only five hurricanes that have hit the US are labeled Category 5.
Hurricane strength is measured on the Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. As the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration explains,From Category 1 — which has winds of 75 to 95 mph and can damage home exteriors, trees and power lines — all the way up to “catastrophic” Category 5.
Category 5 hurricanes have winds of 157 mph or higher. While low-strength storms can tear shingles or fragments from roofs, Category 5 carries a high risk of completely destroying homes with complete roof failure and wall collapse.
Here are the only recorded Category 5 hurricanes that touched down in the US:
labor day storm, 1935
The first recorded Category 5 hurricane hit the US in 1935, before the storm began to receive human names. The storm, known as the Labor Day Hurricane, strengthened as it made its way from the Bahamas to Florida, where it reached the middle of the Florida Keys as a Category 5 on September 2. It later made landfall as one near Cedar Key, Florida. Category 2.
Hurricane Camille, 1969
Camille first hit the Cayman Islands and Cuba before making its way into the Gulf of Mexico and becoming a Category 5 hurricane. It maintained that intensity as it made landfall on the Mississippi Coast on August 17, 1969.
Camille was so strong, it destroyed all wind-recording equipment in the landfall area, so its actual wind power would never be known — but according to NOAA, its winds were estimated to be closer to 200 mph.
Hurricane Andrew, 1992
Hurricane Andrew traveled between Bermuda and Puerto Rico, turned west and increased to a Category 4. It briefly weakened over the Bahamas, but regained strength over Florida on August 24, 1992. It then made its way to the central Louisiana coast as a range. 3.
Andrew also destroyed wind measuring instruments, but some gusts were measured. According to NOAA, an instrument in a private home measured a speed of 177 mph. In 2004, researchers published a reanalysis of Hurricane Andrew’s intensity, which found that the storm made landfall in lower Florida as a Category 5.
Twenty-three people died in the US and three in the Bahamas because of Andrew. The hurricane caused $26.5 billion in damage – $1 billion in Louisiana and the rest in South Florida, the vast majority due to winds.
Hurricane Michael, 2018
Hurricane Michael began as a tropical storm with 50 mph winds – but just 72 hours later, it had grown to a Category 5 hurricane. According to The Weather Channel, it made landfall in Florida on October 10, 2018, with maximum sustained winds of 160 mph.
According to The Weather Channel, all four of these storms were considered tropical storms for three days before their arrival and intensified.
Hurricanes that do not reach Category 5 can also be dangerous and deadly. For example, Hurricane Harvey was Category 4 when it made landfall in Texas on August 25, 2017. Harvey killed 68 people – making it the deadliest US hurricane since Superstorm Sandy, which killed 72 in 2012, according to a National Hurricane Center. report good.