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25 costliest hurricanes of all time

Although the full extent of damage caused by Hurricane Ian in the Southwest is still being realized, Ian is already being called one of the costliest storms to ever hit the U.S. Stacker took a look at NOAA data to extrapolate the costliest U.S. hurricanes of all time.   

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On the afternoon of Sept. 28, Hurricane Ian made landfall in Southwest Florida as a Category 4 storm. Winds reached 150mph, just a few miles shy of a Category 5 classification. Only four Category 5 hurricanes have ever hit the U.S., the most recent one being Hurricane Michael in 2018.

By the following morning, at least 2.5 million households in Florida had lost power. Storm surges caused life-threatening floods throughout West and Central Florida, the hurricane destroyed roads, bridges, and houses, and excessive rains caused inland rivers to break record flood levels. Ian continued to move up the Atlantic Coast before making landfall again, this time as a Category 1 storm, in South Carolina.

A single hurricane can cause billions of dollars in damage, not to mention the physical and emotional toll it takes on those in its path. Over the past five years, hurricanes Laura, Ida, Harvey, Irma, and Maria have caused extensive damage and death tolls. The full impact of Ian will come into sharper focus in the coming days and weeks.

Hurricane recovery plans include everything from the basic distribution of food and water supplies to rebuilding highways, energy grid improvements, and far-reaching infrastructure upgrades. Recovering after extensive hurricane damage can take years and can sometimes be sidetracked by additional storms.

2022's Atlantic hurricane season, which lasts roughly from June 1 to Nov. 30, has been quieter than meteorologists predicted. Before Ian, three other hurricanes formed, two of which dissolved before landfall. Hurricane Fiona, a storm that first made landfall in Puerto Rico on Sep. 18 as Category 1 and wrought damage across the Caribbean as it strengthened, was the season's first major hurricane. Still, the span between August and September represents just part of the peak range for Atlantic hurricanes, with October's forecast not yet clear.

Stacker took a look at NOAA data to extrapolate the costliest hurricanes of all time. In this gallery, you'll find the category of the storm, the year it occurred, and how much damage it caused. Tropical storms, defined as cyclones with winds less than 74 mph, are not included in the analysis. The data includes hurricanes that impacted Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the cost listed is in current U.S. dollars which have been adjusted for inflation. This data also addresses the cost of these hurricanes to the U.S. (and its territories), not to other countries or regions. More information on the methodology can be found at the National Hurricane Center.

Read on for the costliest hurricanes of all time.

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#25. Alicia

Bettmann // Wikimedia Commons

- Estimated cost: $8.8 billion
- Category 3
- Start date: Aug. 17, 1983
- End date: Aug. 20, 1983
- Deaths: 21

#24. Opal

DOUG COLLIER // Getty Images

- Estimated cost: $8.9 billion
- Category 3
- Start date: Oct. 04, 1995
- End date: Oct. 06, 1995
- Deaths: 27

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#23. Fran

DOUG COLLIER/AFP via Getty Images

- Estimated cost: $9.3 billion
- Category 3
- Start date: Sep. 05, 1996
- End date: Sep. 08, 1996
- Deaths: 37

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#22. Georges

FEMA/Dave Gatley // Wikimedia Commons

- Estimated cost: $10.7 billion
- Category 3
- Start date: Sep. 20, 1998
- End date: Sep. 29, 1998
- Deaths: 16

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#21. Floyd

Fema // Getty Images

- Estimated cost: $11.3 billion
- Category 2
- Start date: Sep. 14, 1999
- End date: Sep. 16, 1999
- Deaths: 77

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#20. Jeanne

Jeffrey Greenberg // Getty Images

- Estimated cost: $11.5 billion
- Category 3
- Start date: Sep. 15, 2004
- End date: Sep. 29, 2004
- Deaths: 28

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#19. Matthew

Sean Rayford // Getty Images

- Estimated cost: $12.1 billion
- Category 2
- Start date: Oct. 08, 2016
- End date: Oct. 12, 2016
- Deaths: 49

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#18. Frances

Education Images // Getty Images

- Estimated cost: $15.1 billion
- Category 2
- Start date: Sep. 03, 2004
- End date: Sep. 09, 2004
- Deaths: 48

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#17. Irene

Universal Images Group // Getty Images

- Estimated cost: $17.4 billion
- Category 1
- Start date: Aug. 26, 2011
- End date: Aug. 28, 2011
- Deaths: 45

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#16. Hugo

philippe giraud/Sygma via Getty Images

- Estimated cost: $21.1 billion
- Category 3
- Start date: Sep. 21, 1989
- End date: Sep. 22, 1989
- Deaths: 86

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#15. Charley

Jeffrey Greenberg // Getty Images

- Estimated cost: $24.6 billion
- Category 4
- Start date: Aug. 13, 2004
- End date: Aug. 14, 2004
- Deaths: 35

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#14. Laura

ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

- Estimated cost: $26.0 billion
- Category 4
- Start date: Aug. 27, 2020
- End date: Aug. 28, 2020
- Deaths: 42

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#13. Rita

Brian Vander Brug // Getty Images

- Estimated cost: $27.2 billion
- Category 3
- Start date: Sep. 20, 2005
- End date: Sep. 24, 2005
- Deaths: 119

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#12. Florence

Sean Rayford// Getty Images

- Estimated cost: $27.8 billion
- Category 1
- Start date: Sep. 13, 2018
- End date: Sep. 16, 2018
- Deaths: 53

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#11. Wilma

ANTONIO LEVY/AFP via Getty Images

- Estimated cost: $27.9 billion
- Category 3
- Start date: Oct. 24, 2005
- End date: Oct. 24, 2005
- Deaths: 35

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#10. Michael

Scott Olson // Getty Images

- Estimated cost: $29.0 billion
- Category 5
- Start date: Oct. 10, 2018
- End date: Oct. 11, 2018
- Deaths: 49

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#9. Ivan

Joe Sohm/Visions of America // Getty Images

- Estimated cost: $31.6 billion
- Category 3
- Start date: Sep. 12, 2004
- End date: Sep. 21, 2004
- Deaths: 57

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#8. Ike

Paul Flipse/US Air Force // Getty Images

- Estimated cost: $40.2 billion
- Category 2
- Start date: Sep. 12, 2008
- End date: Sep. 14, 2008
- Deaths: 112

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#7. Andrew

Steve Starr // Getty Images

- Estimated cost: $55.9 billion
- Category 5
- Start date: Aug. 23, 1992
- End date: Aug. 27, 1992
- Deaths: 61

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#6. Irma

Jeffrey Greenberg // Getty Images

- Estimated cost: $59.5 billion
- Category 4
- Start date: Sep. 06, 2017
- End date: Sep. 12, 2017
- Deaths: 97

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#5. Ida

Spencer Platt // Getty Images

- Estimated cost: $78.7 billion
- Category 4
- Start date: Aug. 29, 2021
- End date: Sep. 01, 2021
- Deaths: 96

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#4. Sandy

Kena Betancur/VIEWpress/Corbis via Getty Images

- Estimated cost: $82.0 billion
- Category 1
- Start date: Oct. 30, 2012
- End date: Oct. 31, 2012
- Deaths: 159

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#3. Maria

The Washington Post // Getty Images

- Estimated cost: $107.1 billion
- Category 4
- Start date: Sep. 19, 2017
- End date: Sep. 21, 2017
- Deaths: 2,981

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#2. Harvey

AFP Contributor // Getty Images

- Estimated cost: $148.8 billion
- Category 4
- Start date: Aug. 25, 2017
- End date: Aug. 31, 2017
- Deaths: 89

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#1. Katrina

ROBYN BECK // Getty Images

- Estimated cost: $186.3 billion
- Category 3
- Start date: Aug. 25, 2005
- End date: Aug. 30, 2005
- Deaths: 1,833

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