11 Worst Hurricanes in American History

11. Hurricane Charley, 2004

After throwing a scare into the Tampa-St. Petersburg metro area, Hurricane Charley rapidly intensified and took a right turn into Charlotte Harbor as an intense Category 4 hurricane on Friday, Aug. 13, 2004. Charley was the strongest hurricane to strike the U.S. since Hurricane Andrew raked parts of South Florida in 1992.

Charley’s small, but intense eyewall swept through the cities of Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte, wreaking heavy damage. If that wasn’t enough, Charley accelerated as it sliced northeastward through central and northeast Florida, whipping strong winds through the heart of the Florida Peninsula. Orlando, Florida, reported a peak sustained wind of 79 mph with a maximum gust to 105 mph, and an EF1 tornado ripped through the south side of Daytona Beach.

Charley later made a second landfall south of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and tracked into southeast Virginia before losing its tropical characteristics.

At the time, Hurricane Charley had become the second-costliest hurricane in U.S. history, with damage estimated around $15 billion (2004 dollars). Charley was directly responsible for 10 deaths in the U.S.

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