In an earlier article, we spoke about how to prepare your roof for hurricane season; that’s not to say how to prepare your roof to outlive a hurricane. Being a force of nature hurricanes not only hit at relatively unpredictable times but their damage is likewise not fully predictable.
While Florida is mainly known for its sunny days, warm weather, and its beaches, it also has its fair share of rain and storms during hurricane season. Preparing your roof ahead of time can help prevent roof damage from the storms, wind, and rain that your roof will experience between June and November of each year.
But what if you are directly hit by a hurricane?
Well, that’s why we’re writing this article. You see, if we look at the last 120 years worth of hurricanes, only 11 have been significantly damaging hurricanes worth mentioning. That means Florida only experiences a very damaging hurricane once every 10 years. Additionally, only 2 of those very damaging hurricanes have been within the last 50 years. And, while we’re in no way playing down the tragedies that occur when hurricanes do hit Florida, even when a damaging hurricane hits Florida it doesn’t cause damage to the entire state, as the areas that the hurricane makes landfall in usually get the worst part of it.
The 11 Worst Hurricanes in Florida’s History
Here is a list of the most damaging hurricanes Florida has experienced. As hurricanes didn’t start getting named until 1979, most of Florida’s hurricanes don’t have names.
- 1906 – The Florida Keys Hurricane – Category 3
- 1909 – The Hurricane of 1909 – Category 3
- 1910 – The Cuba Hurricane – Category 3
- 1919 – The Key West Hurricane – Category 4
- 1928 – The Okeechobee Hurricane – Category 4
- 1935 – The Labor Day Hurricane – Category 5
- 1948 – The October 1948 Hurricane – Category 3
- 1960 – Hurricane Donna – Category 4
- 1965 – Hurricane Betsy – Category 3
- 1992 – Hurricane Andrew – Category 5
- 2017 – Hurricane Irma – Category 4
Taken directly from an article written by Accuweahter, the most damaging hurricanes in Florida’s history was the Labor Day Hurricane from 1935:
The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 is the strongest hurricane to make landfall in the contiguous U.S. in terms of both pressure and wind; where the maximum sustained winds at landfall were estimated at 185 mph. Storm surge was estimated near 18 to 20 feet in portions of the Keys. Every building and tree on Matecumbe Key was reported to be completely destroyed.
Most likely, many of you remember the most recent of the 11 hurricanes, Andrew and Irma:
Hurricane Andrew: Hurricane Andrew is the most recent Category 5 hurricane to make landfall in Florida and the United States. Andrew’s maximum sustained winds were estimated near 165 mph at landfall on August 24, 1992. In Florida alone, 25,524 homes were destroyed and 101,241 others were damaged.
Hurricane Irma: Hurricane Irma was a large and powerful hurricane that brought impacts to nearly the entire state of Florida. Maximum sustained winds were near 130 mph at landfall near Cudjoe Key on September 10, 2017 making Irma a Category 4 hurricane. Irma made a second landfall later in the day near Marco Island as a Category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds near 115 mph.
While nothing can prepare your roof for a hurricane, statistically, hurricanes don’t hit your home very often. But preparing your roof for hurricane season and the weather that your roof may experience is very important.