Doyle Rice, USA TODAY Published 2:54 p.m. ET Jan. 30, 2018 | Updated 11:17 a.m. ET Feb. 1, 2018CLOSE
2017 was a particularly active year for the Atlantic hurricane season. Not only was it one of the most destructive seasons, it was nearly as costly. Video provided by Newsy Newslook
This satellite image shows an illumination of Hurricane Irma as the storm approaches Cuba and Florida on Sept. 8, 2017.(Photo: AP Images)
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This is a top 10 list no one wants to be on.
The three big hurricanes of 2017 — Harvey, Irma and Maria — are now three of the five costliest hurricanes in U.S. history, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced this week.
The storms brought widespread death and destruction to Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
While 2005's Katrina remains the costliest hurricane on record at 0 billion, last year's Hurricane Harvey ranks second, with damage costs of 5 billion.
Hurricane Maria ranks third at billion, and Irma ranks fifth at billion. With damages of billion, 2012's Sandy has been pushed down to fourth place. Sandy was popularly labeled a "superstorm" as it neared landfall despite being a hurricane for nearly its entire life cycle.
(On this list, the damage costs of both Katrina and Sandy are adjusted for inflation.)
NOAA said the dollar amounts are "the estimated total costs of these events — that is, the costs in terms of dollars that would not have been incurred had the event not taken place. Insured and uninsured losses are included in damage estimates."
In all, 2017's hurricanes caused more than a quarter-trillion dollars in insured and uninsured losses, the National Hurricane Center reported.
That makes 2017 the costliest hurricane season in U.S. history, even topping the disastrous 2005 season, which included Rita and Wilma in addition to Katrina.
September was the true behemoth, the single-most powerful month ever recorded in the Atlantic in terms of hurricane intensity.
In a statistic known as "Accumulated Cyclone Energy," Hurricanes Irma, Jose, Katia, Lee and Maria that month generated the largest amount of energy for any month on record, according to Colorado State University meteorologist Phil Klotzbach.
Both Irma and Maria soared to Category 5 strength, the top of the Saffir-Simpson scale of hurricane intensity. Irma’s landfall on Barbuda and Maria's landfall on Dominica makes 2017 only the second season on record to feature two hurricanes that hit at Category 5 strength.
Other records from the season included the 60.58 inches of rain that fell near Nederland, Texas, during Harvey. This broke the record for the greatest rainfall amount ever recorded in the 48 contiguous states from a single storm, WeatherBug reported.
Meanwhile, Irma was the strongest storm on record in the Atlantic — excluding the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico — with maximum winds of 185 mph and an unofficial wind gust of 199 mph.
And Maria was the worst natural disaster in Puerto Rico's history, leaving potentially hundreds dead.
The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season was also the first season since records began in 1851 to have two Category 4 hurricanes make continental U.S. landfall in the same year (Harvey and Irma), according to Klotzbach.
Bumped out of the top 10 costliest hurricane list were Charley (2004), Irene (2011) and Hugo (1989), the Weather Channel reported.
No hurricanes will ever have the names Harvey, Irma and Maria again, as they will all certainly be retired by the World Meteorological Organization due to the storms' ferocity and impact.
That official designation will come at the organization's meeting in April, the hurricane center said.
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