Study pinpoints which areas of New York City are sinking,…


Study pinpoints which areas of New York City are sinking or rising
The land beneath the New York City area, including the borough of Queens, pictured here, is moving by fractions of inches each year. The motions are a legacy of the ice age and also due to human land usage. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Parts of the New York City metropolitan area are sinking and rising at different rates due to factors ranging from land-use practices to long-lost glaciers, scientists have found. While the elevation changes seem small—fractions of inches per year—they can enhance or diminish local flood risk linked to sea level rise.

The new study was published Wednesday in Science Advances by a team of researchers from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California and Rutgers University in New Jersey.

The team analyzed upward and downward vertical land motion—also known as uplift and subsidence—across the metropolitan area from 2016 to 2023 using a remote sensing technique called interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR). The technique combines two or more 3D observations of the same region to reveal surface motion or topography.

Much of the motion they observed occurred in areas where prior modifications to Earth’s surface—such as land reclamation and the construction of landfills—made the ground looser and more compressible beneath subsequent buildings.

Study pinpoints which areas of New York City are sinking or rising
Mapping vertical land motion across the New York City area, researchers found the land sinking (indicated in blue) by about 0.06 inches (1.6 millimeters) per year on average. They also detected modest uplift (shown in red) in Queens and Brooklyn. White dotted lines indicate county/borough borders. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Rutgers University

Some of the motion is also caused by natural processes dating back thousands of years to the most recent ice age. About 24,000 years ago, a huge ice sheet spread across most of New England, and a wall of ice more than a mile high covered what is today Albany in upstate New York. Earth’s mantle, somewhat like a flexed mattress, has been slowly readjusting ever since. New York City, which sits on land that was raised just outside the edge of the ice sheet, is now sinking back down.

The scientists found that on average the metropolitan area subsided by about 0.06 inches (1.6 millimeters) per year—about the same amount that a toenail grows in a month. Using the radars on the ESA (European Space Agency) Sentinel-1 satellites, along with advanced data processing techniques, they mapped the motion in detail and pinpointed neighborhoods and landmarks—down to an airport runway and tennis stadium—that are subsiding more rapidly than the average.

“We’ve produced such a detailed map of vertical land motion in the New York City area that there are features popping out that haven’t been noticed before,” said lead author Brett Buzzanga, a postdoctoral researcher at JPL.

David Bekaert, a JPL scientist and lead investigator of the project, said that tracking local elevation changes and relative sea level can be important for flood mapping and planning purposes. This is especially critical as Earth’s changing climate pushes oceans higher around the world, leading to more frequent nuisance flood events and exacerbating destructive storm surges.

Study pinpoints which areas of New York City are sinking or rising
The team pinpointed hot spots: left, runway 13/31 at LaGuardia Airport in Queens, is subsiding at a rate of about 0.15 inches (3.7 millimeters) per year; right, part of Newtown Creek, a Superfund site in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is rising unevenly by about 0.06 inches (1.6 millimeters) per year. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Rutgers University

Local changes

The team identified two notable hot spots of subsidence co-located with landfills in Queens. One, runway 13/31 at LaGuardia Airport, is subsiding at a rate of about 0.15 inches (3.7 millimeters) per year. The scientists noted that the airport is undergoing an $8 billion renovation designed in part to alleviate flooding from the rising waters of the Atlantic Ocean. They also identified Arthur Ashe Stadium, which is sinking at a rate of about 0.18 inches (4.6 millimeters) per year and required construction of a lightweight roof during renovation to reduce its heaviness and amount of subsidence.

Other subsidence hot spots include the southern portion of Governors Island—built on 38 million square feet (3.5 million cubic meters) of rocks and dirt from early 20th century subway excavations—as well as sites near the ocean in Brooklyn’s Coney Island and Arverne by the Sea in Queens that were built on artificial fill. Similar levels of subsidence were observed beneath Route 440 and Interstate 78 in suburban New Jersey, which traverse historic fill locations, and in Rikers Island, expanded to its present size by landfilling.

The scientists also found previously unidentified uplift in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn—rising by about 0.06 inches (1.6 millimeters) per year—and in Woodside, Queens, which rose 0.27 inches (6.9 millimeters) per year between 2016 and 2019 before stabilizing. Co-author Robert Kopp of Rutgers University said that groundwater pumping and injection wells used to treat polluted water may have played a role, but further investigation is needed. “I’m intrigued by the potential of using high-resolution InSAR to measure these kinds of relatively short-lived environmental modifications associated with uplift,” Kopp said.

The scientists said that cities like New York, which are investing in coastal defenses and infrastructure in the face of sea level rise, can benefit from high-resolution estimates of land motion.

More information:
Brett Buzzanga et al, Localized uplift, widespread subsidence, and implications for sea level rise in the New York City metropolitan area, Science Advances (2023). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.adi8259

Study pinpoints which areas of New York City are sinking, rising (2023, September 27)
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New Jersey Supreme Court Hears Ocean Appeal for COVID Rel…


Posted on: September 28, 2023, 09:52h. 

Last updated on: September 28, 2023, 01:22h.

The New Jersey Supreme Court this week heard arguments from attorneys representing Ocean Casino Resort. The discussion was on why the Atlantic City business should be entitled to insurance coverage stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

New Jersey Supreme Court Ocean Casino insurance
Boardwalk pedestrians walk past Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City on June 15, 2023. The owners of Ocean Casino continue to seek insurance compensation for business interruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The New Jersey Supreme Court heard arguments on the case this week. (Image: AP)

Ocean Casino, doing business as “AC Ocean Walk, LLC,” held property insurance policies to cover losses in the event of the resort’s operations being interrupted. But the three insurers of those policies, AIG Specialty Insurance, American Guarantee & Liability Insurance Co., and Interstate Fire & Casualty Co., have refused to pay out on the combined $50 million in coverages on claims that Ocean Casino didn’t suffer any physical damage as a result of the coronavirus.

The insurers allege in the ongoing litigation that their policies only cover business interruptions caused by “direct physical loss or damage.” Most business interruption policies include virus exclusions, meaning a health-related event doesn’t warrant a property insurance claim. Property insurance policies typically require the insured to demonstrate physical damage.

Ocean Casino Resort is jointly owned and operated by Luxor Capital, a New York hedge fund, and Ilitch Holdings, the parent company of Little Caesars Pizza and Detroit’s MotorCity Casino Hotel. Ilitch Holdings, founded by the late Mike Ilitch, additionally controls MLB’s Detroit Tigers and the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings.

Long Shot Lawsuit

State supreme courts across the country have repeatedly sided with the insurance companies in lawsuits brought by their ensured entities seeking COVID-19 relief. The crux of the matter comes down to determining if COVID-19 physically damaged a brick-and-mortar business.

So far, the vast majority of the lawsuits have either been dismissed or gone in favor of the insurance firms. Penn Law’s “Covid Coverage Litigation Tracker” reports that only 15 lawsuits brought against insurance companies for not paying out on business interruption policies among the 896 cases filed have gone in the policyholder’s favor.

One of those victories was the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe, which in September 2021 successfully won its lawsuit to collect insurance money for losses incurred by COVID-19 at its Snoqualmie Casino in Washington.

Washington State Superior Court Judge Catherine Shaffer ruled that since the phrase “all risks of physical loss or damage” was included in the tribal casino’s insurance policies, “a reasonable interpretation of the phrase is that the tribe was deprived of the ability to physically use or operate its properties because of the COVID-19-related closures.”

Ocean attorneys alleged this week before New Jersey’s highest court that their policies define “Covered Cause of Loss” as “all risks of direct physical loss of or damage from any cause unless excluded.” The casino’s legal team also said the policies covered “Time Element” losses, or “the loss of business income resulting from the suspension of business activities.”

No Ruling Yet

Attorneys for the insurance carriers said Ocean Casino didn’t suffer direct physical damage and failed to relay how the resort repaired or physically removed the virus from its property. Interstate Fire & Casualty Co.’s counsel argued that its policy included a “Pollution Contamination Exclusion” that explicitly states that coverage will not be awarded for the “release, migration, discharge, escape, or dispersal of Contaminants.”

Ocean’s lawsuit was initially dismissed by a state appellate court. But after its appeal, the New Jersey Supreme Court agreed to take up the case. The court adjourned after hearing arguments this week. There’s no word as to when a decision might be handed down.

Ocean did receive $850K from the three insurers for separate coverage for “Interruption by Communicable Disease.”

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Nobu Hotel at Caesars Atlantic City Accepting Reservation…


Posted on: September 28, 2023, 11:38h. 

Last updated on: September 28, 2023, 11:52h.

Nobu Hotel at Caesars Atlantic City is accepting reservations as the casino company’s $240 million overhaul of the Boardwalk resort nears completion.

Nobu Hotel Caesars Atlantic City casino resort
A Nobu Hotel room at Caesars Atlantic City overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. The Nobu Hotel occupies the top three floors of the casino resort’s Centurion Tower. Room reservations are being accepted for stays beginning on Jan. 2, 2024. (Image: Caesars Entertainment/

Caesars Entertainment through its merger with Eldorado Resorts in 2020 agreed to invest $400 million into its Atlantic City casinos. The condition was a component of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission signing off on the companies merging.

Caesars operates its namesake casino, plus Harrah’s and Tropicana. The bulk of the spending was allocated to Caesars Atlantic City, which opened more than four decades ago in 1979, and which was in need of a major upgrade.

Part of Caesars Atlantic City’s $240 million overhaul included repurposing the top three floors of the resort’s Centurion Tower into Nobu-branded guest rooms. The Roman décor on those floors has been ditched in favor of a Japanese-inspired motif to fall in line with the Nobu hospitality brand.

Nobu is named after its namesake Japanese celebrity chef and restauranter, Nobu Matsuhisa, who cofounded Nobu Hospitality in 1994 with actor Robert De Niro and film producer Meir Teper. Billionaire James Packer, who founded Australian casino company Crown Resorts, acquired a 20% stake in Nobu Hospitality in 2015 for $100 million.

January Reservations

Caesars Entertainment reps told this week that its Nobu Hotel at Caesars Atlantic City is now taking reservations for overnight stays. Bookings are available beginning Jan. 2, 2024.

Along with the Nobu Hotel, Caesars Atlantic City offers a Nobu restaurant, which opened last October.

We are delighted to partner with a world-class hospitality brand like Nobu to further elevate the experience at Caesars Atlantic City,” said John Koster, Caesars Entertainment’s eastern regional president. “With its unique blend of luxury accommodations and culinary excellence, Nobu Hotel Atlantic City will position the market as a premier travel destination on the East Coast.”

Rooms are quite expensive for Nobu Hotel Atlantic City’s opening weekend. A standard king guest room for Friday to Sunday, January 5-7, costs $608 a night before resort fees and taxes. The total portfolio, inclusive of the $28 per night resort fee and hotel occupancy taxes, comes to $1,460.38, or $730.19 a night. A comparable king room on Caesars-branded floors runs just $204 a night before fees and taxes.

The same Nobu Hotel room for a weekend later in January drops to $553 a night. The three floors of Nobu Hotel rooms feature 85 guest rooms and suites, all of which have ocean views.

Caesars Upgrades

The Caesars Atlantic City overhaul has additionally resulted in a new arrival experience, Caesars officials said, highlighted by a fully renovated hotel lobby.

The Pool at Caesars, a rooftop pool complex above the Boardwalk with views of the Atlantic Ocean, has also been renovated, though that amenity won’t be open until summer 2024.

Caesars says its $240 million investment in Caesars Atlantic City and $160 million in upgrades to Harrah’s and Tropicana shows its “ongoing commitment” to the New Jersey casino town.

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Friday worst-case scenario for NJ: Heavy rain, dangerous …


The Bottom Line

Rain, rain, rain. Yet again, New Jersey gets soaked on Friday. Periods of rain are expected all day.

In addition, we have to ring more serious alarm bells for flash flooding Friday, for two good reasons:

1.) Torrential downpours are likely, especially along the northern and eastern edges of the state. 2+ inches of rain seems like a good bet. Some models go even higher.

2.) The ground is still saturated from last weekend’s heavy rain. This has been one of the wettest Septembers on record for most of NJ.

Friday will be wet. Then we’ll dry out Friday night into Saturday morning. Skies will start to clear Saturday afternoon. Sunday and beyond look drop dead gorgeous.


At the very least, wet. At worst, significant flooding is possible.

Periods of rain will last pretty much all day. Sure, there might be some breaks of dry weather. But I would not count on it. It’s going to be a wet day, no matter where in the state you are.

It’s another washout. Periods of rain are likely all day Friday, as evidenced by this rainy HRRR model forecast image as of 6 p.m. (College of DuPage Meteorology)
It’s another washout. Periods of rain are likely all day Friday, as evidenced by this rainy HRRR model forecast image as of 6 p.m. (College of DuPage Meteorology)

Rainfall totals in SW NJ will be rather unimpressive, around a half-inch. However, to the north and east, 2+ inches is likely. (That is not really a stretch — parts of the Jersey Shore have already passed 1 inch for the day.)

Now, if it really pours, those totals may soar even higher — some models show 6+ inches around NE NJ. That is a lot of rain.

GFS model total rainfall forecast for Friday through Saturday morning. Northeastern New Jersey will easily surpass 2 inches of rain, with much lower totals to the south and west. (College of DuPage Meteorology)
GFS model total rainfall forecast for Friday through Saturday morning. Northeastern New Jersey will easily surpass 2 inches of rain, with much lower totals to the south and west. (College of DuPage Meteorology)

But let’s be level-headed here. Not everyone in the state will see “multiple inches” of rain and dramatic flooding. The worst-case scenario is very serious — but will only play out if/when stagnant downpours develop Friday. Northern and eastern edges of the state need to stay vigilant and alert to changing weather conditions, especially as you’re out and about.

A Flood Watch is in effect until late Friday night for the following 15 counties in NJ: Bergen, Burlington, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren.

Very heavy rain may leave to significant flooding issues along the northern and eastern edges of New Jersey on Friday. (Accuweather)
Very heavy rain may leave to significant flooding issues along the northern and eastern edges of New Jersey on Friday. (Accuweather)

Meanwhile, it will be cloudy and miserably cool. Temperatures will be stuck right around 60 degrees from morning to afternoon.

Unlike last Saturday, wind will not be a significant issue Friday. Gusts over 20 mph will be in the “breezy” range.

Severe weather is also unlikely. There could be a few rumbles of thunder along the way, but that should be it.

Coastal flooding has been a concern all week. And it still is, with minor category flooding of tidal waterways at high tide again Friday. A Coastal Flood Advisory is in effect for the entire coastline.


Rain will start to scale back Friday evening, both in intensity and in spread. It will still look and feel wet though. Low temperatures will dip into the 50s.


Showers may linger through Saturday morning. Most likely, we will start to dry out starting around mid-morning (8 or 9 a.m.) It is worth mentioning that some models do paint a few raindrops until midday (Noon or 1 p.m.)

We will continue to see gradual improvements through Saturday afternoon, which does look dry. I would not expect much sunshine, but skies should brighten as the day goes on.

Temperatures will respond to the improving weather conditions, by rising into the mid 60s. Still below normal for late September. But we’re getting there.


The first of October will deliver a much brighter, warmer, happier weather pattern to New Jersey.

Skies will turn sunny Sunday, allowing high temperatures to push into the mid 70s. A little cooler than we have suggested previously, but still a beautiful day from start to finish. No rain, light winds, low humidity.

Beyond the rain, the forecast turns gorgeous. High pressure builds in with sunshine and warmth, starting Sunday. (Accuweather)
Beyond the rain, the forecast turns gorgeous. High pressure builds in with sunshine and warmth, starting Sunday. (Accuweather)

The Extended Forecast

The beach weather will continue through most of next week. My latest forecast has sunshine and near 80-degree temperatures for Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday and Thursday look mostly sunny too, although an on-shore breeze could cool temperatures a bit at the Jersey Shore.

Next storm system does not approach until late next week. Rain is a possibility for next weekend, unfortunately. But still lots of time to sort that out.

Meanwhile, in the tropics, we now have Tropical Storm Philippe and Tropical Storm Rina. They are snuggled up less than 500 miles apart from each other. In a less-than-stellar environment, and stifling each other, it does not look like either storm will pose a serious threat to land.

The tropical satellite overview as of Friday morning show Philippe and Rina meandering in the middle of the Atlantic. (NOAA / NHC)
The tropical satellite overview as of Friday morning show Philippe and Rina meandering in the middle of the Atlantic. (NOAA / NHC)

The Atlantic hurricane season officially runs through the end of November.

NJ WEATHER CENTER: Your 5 Day Forecast and more

BEEP BEEP BEEP: These are the 13 types of Wireless Emergency Alerts auto-pushed to your phone

The Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) system allows government officials to immediately and automatically push messages to all cell phones and mobile devices within a specific geographical area. There are a total of 13 types of messages that can currently be sent as a Wireless Emergency Alert. Nine of them are weather-related warnings, including one that is brand new as of August 2021.

Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.

Tropical Storm Ophelia’s Impacts in Ocean City

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Yoair Blog – Discovering the World’s Mosaics.


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New York declared a state of emergency after heavy rains and flash floods caused by devastating Hurricane Ida.  Floodwater rushed into the subway stations and also swept away buses and cars from the roads.

According to local media sources, at least nine individuals died due to flash floods in the northeastern United States. In addition, many people were stranded in their flooded basements. Both New York and New Jersey governors declared states of emergency immediately, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio termed it a “historic meteorological event.” New York Central Park received a minimum of 3in (8cm) of rain in just one hour.

There was a closure of subway lines in New York City, and non-emergency cars were barred from the streets. Additionally, there was a massive cancellation of many planes and trains departing from New York and New Jersey. The U.S. National Weather Service issued an immediate flood emergency across New York City, Brooklyn, Queens, and Long Island. It also issued tornado warnings across Massachusetts and Rhode Island. As opposed to a warning, a flood emergency is issued in scarce circumstances when a flash flood poses a severe threat to human life and catastrophic damage occurs or will occur soon.


Credit: Devastation

The Aftermath

Often, the ending of a disaster is only the beginning. The recovery process begins once the storm passes and the dust settles. But, first, the property damage and the profound personal grief need to be assessed, and there should be an assessment of invisible environmental consequences.

Hurricanes rank among the deadliest destructive natural catastrophes. According to the USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program, storms account for two-thirds of all property losses in the United States. Natural ecosystems, on the other hand, incur a substantial hit in addition to property. For example, according to WeatherBELL, a meteorological analytics company, Hurricane Harvey dropped an estimated 27 trillion gallons of rain on Texas and Louisiana during six days in August. Harvey also broke the record for the most significant rainfall from a tropical storm in the continental United States, with 51 inches.

Hurricane Ima followed hurricane Harvey and wreaked devastation across the Caribbean Florida and the Southeast. The hurricane knocked out electricity in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands for several weeks. In addition, pollutants from flooded industrial sites allowed dangerous chemicals to infiltrate project sites, groundwater, watersheds, and the seas untreated.

Devastating Hurricane

Credit: Pixabay


What is a Hurricane?

Tropical cyclones across the Northern Atlantic and Eastern Pacific Oceans are hurricanes. They are known as Typhoons, Tropical Cyclones, or Cyclones in different ocean basins. It is a storm system composed of a low-pressure centre and thunderstorms with high winds and heavy rain. Tropical cyclones over the Northern Hemisphere spin counterclockwise, whereas those in the Southern Hemisphere rotate clockwise.

Tropical cyclones classify into four types in the North Atlantic and East Pacific. A tropical depression is a well-defined surface circulation and organized thunderstorm activity with maximum sustained winds at less than 17 metres per second. A tropical storm has a distinct surface circulation with well-organized thunderstorm activity, and maximum sustained winds range from 17 to 32 metres per second.

A hurricane has maximum sustained winds of 33m/s or higher (64kt, 74mph, or 118km/h). At this intensity, a storm will form an ‘eye,’ a zone of relative calm in the centre of the circulation. Hurricanes having maximum sustained winds of more than 111 mph classify as significant hurricanes.

What Causes Hurricanes?

Hurricanes require heat and moisture to survive. They should have six elements to become a tropical cyclone.

  • At depths of up to 50m, water temperatures greater than 26.5°C (80°F) should be there (150ft). As a result, the overlying atmosphere becomes unstable enough to support convection and thunderstorms.
  • Fast cooling of the air with height should occur as this permits the release of latent heat, which provides energy for tropical cyclones.
  • In the lower to mid-troposphere, high humidity levels should exist. Low wind shear is also required to prevent the storm structure from being torn apart.
  • Tropical cyclones must also be more than 5 degrees on each side of the equator for the Coriolis influence to give enough rotation.
  • Finally, a tropical cyclone requires a previously disturbed weather system. There must be circulation and a low-pressure centre.

Where Can Hurricanes Occur?

Tropical cyclones are capable of forming in any of the world’s seas. They are most common in the tropics, although they also exist in the mid-latitudes. Tropical cyclones usually travel westward and bend poleward towards the mid-latitudes due to trade winds. The bulk of tropical cyclones originate between 10 and 30 degrees north and south of the equator. The Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) stands as the primary source of formation.

Path of Hurricane Charley

Credit: NASA


Devastating Hurricanes in the History of the United States

Charley 2004

Hurricane Charley was a small but powerful storm, causing more than $20 billion in damage. After blasting through Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte, the storm increased as it passed the Florida Peninsula. It brought 79 mph winds to Orlando and a tornado across Daytona Beach’s south side. Then it returned for a few seconds, making landfall at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, before slowing down in southeast Virginia.

1938 Hurricane

This Atlantic-borne storm wreaked havoc on Long Island and southern New England. There were heavy winds of 180 mph and the destruction of 150 houses in Westhampton, New York. In addition, the surge and wind gusts from the Category 3 storm produced highly high tides that swept up Long Island’s south shore and climbed to 14 feet in Providence, Rhode Island.

Florence 2018

On September 14, 2018, Florence made landfall in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. Florence is one of the deadliest and most expensive storms ever hit the Carolinas. There were at least 51 deaths and floods that shattered 28 different records.

Superstorm Sandy 2012

The second-costliest storm in U.S. history spared none. It wreaked havoc in 24 states from Florida to Maine and then through the Appalachian Mountains to Michigan and Wisconsin. However, New Jersey and New York bore the burn of the hurricane. Sandy’s winds alone knocked out electricity to 8.5 million people in the Northeast. The storm surge and raging waves damaged or destroyed 650,000 houses. Sandy’s destruction is estimated to be worth more than $50 billion.

The storm caused much damage when it reached the densely populated districts of New York and New Jersey. The storm surge that slammed New York City flooded streets, subways, tunnels,  and damaged power systems. The United States, Bermuda, and the Caribbean islands were all affected.

Labor Day Hurricane

Credit: Sun Sentinel

1935 Labor Day

This holiday hurricane was a shocking surprise. The storm, which ripped into the Keys on September 2, 1935, was simply a Category 1 hurricane the day before as it swept through the Bahamas. However, when it reached the United States, the hurricane’s initially peaceful nature became more menacing. The estimated wind speed at landfall of the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane was 161 miles per hour. It stood as the third-highest wind speed at landfall of any hurricane to strike the United States. However, due to the absence of wind sensors, the wind speed is approximated using storms with similar pressure values at landfall.

Lake Okeechobee 1928


The Okeechobee Hurricane, also famous as the San Felipe Segundo Hurricane, recorded the most incredible wind speed at its landfall in U.S. territory. When it made landfall in Puerto Rico in 1928, it reached 160 miles per hour wind speeds. The Okeechobee Hurricane is the only Category 5 hurricane to hit Puerto Rico. The monstrous Category 5 hurricane first terrified Puerto Rico before moving on to south Florida, where it impacted West Palm Beach with 145 mph winds.

While the hurricane damaged around 1700 residences in the city, the region surrounding Lake Okeechobee suffered considerably more damage. The lake overflowed due to storm surge, flooding the surrounding area with 10 to 15 feet of water. Like later Hurricane Charley, the storm traversed Florida before making a second landfall, this time at Edisto Island, South Carolina.

Irma 2017

Hurricane Irma lasted over two weeks, wreaking widespread havoc throughout the Caribbean and the Florida Keys. The Category 5 hurricane had 180 mph winds at its height, decimating the islands of Barbuda, St. Barts, St. Martin, Anguilla, and the Virgin Islands. Irma produced $65 billion in damage, making it the second-costliest Caribbean storm behind Maria.

Michael 2018

On October 10, 2018, Storm Michael made landfall in the contiguous United States, becoming the first Category 5 hurricane since Andrew in 1992. With gusts of 160 mph, it made landfall in Mexico Beach, Florida. Most of the storm’s destruction concentrated in Florida’s panhandle, with Panama City the most affected. The devastation to crops stood at around $158 million.

Hurricane Camille Devastation

Credit: Accuweather

Camille 1969

Camille was so powerful that no one knows how fast the winds were, since the storm destroyed all wind-measuring equipment. Because Camille was small, the storm surge of 24 feet in southern Mississippi was relatively concentrated. As a result, it inflicted limited devastation in comparison to any bigger storm. Nevertheless, Camille’s devastating course resulted in $1.4 billion in losses.

When Hurricane Camille hit the Mississippi coast in 1969, it achieved the most incredible wind speed at landfall, estimated at 190 miles per hour. This wind speed upon landfall is the greatest ever recorded anywhere else. Unfortunately, the actual maximum sustained winds will never be known because the hurricane destroyed every wind-recording device in the landfall region.

Andrew 1992

Andrew, while being a relatively minor hurricane, gave a heavy blow. When it made landfall on Florida, it was a Category 5 hurricane. However, it later dropped to a Category 3 by the time it struck Louisiana’s coast. Andrew was dangerous because of its high wind speeds. These winds destroyed around 127,000 houses in Florida. The damage stood at an estimated total cost of $26.5 billion, making it the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history at the time.

Hurricane Andrew holds the record for the second-highest recorded landfall wind speeds, with gusts estimated at 167 miles per hour as it hit south Florida. Unfortunately, the cyclone destroyed many of the devices used to measure wind speeds. Therefore, the exact sustained wind speeds are unclear.


1926 Miami Hurricane

Credit: PBS

Miami 1926

The actual tragedy of the 1926 Miami Hurricane was when the storm’s eye passed over the city. Many people assumed the storm had passed and abandoned their shelters. However, the hurricane’s worst portion, with a 10-foot storm surge, appeared shortly after. Inland, strong winds drove the water from Lake Okeechobee onto Moore Haven’s beach. The beach was totally inundated and remained devastated for weeks. Damage estimates stood at $105 million.

Harvey 2017

In 2017, Storm Harvey made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane with 130 miles per hour winds on San Jose Island, Texas. Harvey then made landfall on mainland Texas some time later . In Texas, an estimated 500,000 cars and 300,000 buildings were damaged or destroyed.

The hurricane subsequently lingered over Texas as a tropical storm, and several places in the Houston metropolitan area received more than 30 inches of rain in three days. Harvey then re-entered the Gulf of Mexico, made landfall in Louisiana, and proceeded northeastward as a tropical depression, producing more flooding along the route. All of the floods, structural damage, and car damage

It slammed into southern Texas as a Category 4 hurricane, causing widespread flooding in the Houston metro region. Over four days, 40 inches of rain fell on Houston and nearby regions, displacing over 30,000 people and costing $125 billion in damage. It is one of the costliest tropical cyclones on record.

Galveston 1900

The Galveston Hurricane, known as the worst hurricane in American history, struck Galveston Island on Texas’ eastern coast in 1900. With winds more than 120 miles per hour, the hurricane bypassed Florida and spun over the Gulf of Mexico. As the cyclone strengthened to Category 4, water levels rose to more than 20 feet. More than 3,000 homes were destroyed, and the damage was estimated to be more than $30 million.

Devastation by Superstorm Katrina

Credit: Britannica

 Katrina 2005

Hurricane Katrina was undoubtedly the most expensive hurricane in U.S. history. The property damages totaled to more than $125 billion. In addition, storm surge damaged several structures along the Mississippi shore, with devastation reaching many miles inland.


The storm surge from Katrina surpassed and burst levees in the New Orleans metropolitan region, inundating most of the city and suburbs. In addition, Katrina’s wind impact stretched well inland into northern Mississippi and Alabama and Miami-Dade and Broward counties in Florida.

Katrina struck Florida and the central Gulf Coast with a double blow. The winds pulled down trees and destroyed structures, as they do in many hurricanes. However, the storm surge inflicted the most damage, peaking at an estimated 28 feet in portions of Mississippi. Most notably, this surge broke New Orleans’ levees and floodwalls, resulting in catastrophic flooding in 80% of the city. There was a total of $108 billion in losses across all impacted areas and it is the most expensive storm in history.

 Maria 2017

After the destruction by Hurricane Irma in 2017, Hurricane Maria made landfall in Dominica as a high Category 5 hurricane and in Puerto Rico as a high Category 4 on September 20, 2017. It was the greatest natural disaster to hit the US . With maximum winds of 175 mph, Maria caused $90 billion in damage, making it the third-costliest tropical storm ever recorded. Maria also became the deadliest Atlantic storm, killing 3,057 people. As of September 2018, Puerto Rican communities were still rebuilding the devastated towns and cities.


Hurricanes lists among the deadliest ecological disasters on planet Earth. They bring devastation, destruction, loss of human life and habitat and some painful memories to leave behind!

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