If you are a Florida native, you know that hurricanes are a constant threat. However, the different areas of Florida are at different levels of risk for being hit by a hurricane. The following areas have had the most storms that are considered category 3 or higher:
Southeast Florida (Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach)
Southeast Florida, located at the tip of the state, is very susceptible to hurricanes. Most hurricanes that affect this area are complete with heavy rain and storm surges. Hurricanes that make direct landfall can cause serious damage. One of the worst hurricanes to touch down in Miami was the Great Miami Hurricane in 1926, causing $196 billion inflation-adjusted dollars in damage.
Key West & Florida Keys
Storm surges are particularly threatening to the Florida Keys. Hurricane Andrew, which occurred in August 1992, was the most destructive hurricane to hit Florida until the arrival of Hurricane Irma in 2017. Hurricane Andrew was a category 5 hurricane, while Hurricane Irma was a category 4.
Southwest Florida (Fort Myers-Naples)
Hurricane Irma also blew through the Fort Myers-Naples area in 2017, making it the worst hurricane to have hit the area. With winds up to 150 mph and huge storm surges around the coast, it caused over $64 billion in damages. It has been donned the most powerful Atlantic hurricane in recorded history.
West Florida (Tampa-St. Petersburg-Sarasota-Clearwater)
The last large storm to hit the Tampa Bay area was the Tampa Bay hurricane in 1921, a category 4 hurricane with winds over 140 mph. However, there were few fatalities and about $110 million inflation-adjusted dollars in damages. Hurricane Irma also reached Tampa, but was a category 1 hurricane by the time it hit.
Central Florida Atlantic Coast (Melbourne-Cocoa Beach)
The Central Florida Atlantic Coast and Brevard County are susceptible to powerful hurricanes, but they often weaken before they make landfall in the area. The Melbourne-Cocoa Beach area is less likely to suffer direct impacts from hurricanes, but it is still at risk of damage from high winds and storm surges. Hurricane Jeanne and Hurricane Frances, which both occurred in 2004, caused over $2.8 billion in claim payments.
Florida Panhandle (Pensacola-Panama City)
The Panhandle is affected by a severe storm about every two years, on average. Hurricane Michael, which hit in 2018, was the most powerful hurricane on record in the Florida Panhandle. It was a category 5 hurricane that caused over $25 billion in damages. Previously, in 1995, Hurricane Opal was one of the strongest to hit the area as a category 4 hurricane.
Hurricanes are inevitable in Florida, so the best thing to do is to be prepared. HH Insurance can provide you with the best flood insurance rates and coverage. We are the leading agency for flood insurance solutions.
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