Matthew could become the first major hurricane to make landfall in the United States since Wilma in October 2005 if it maintains at least Category 3 status with winds of 110 mph or more.
Current forecasts show Matthew – with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph – could bring heavy rain, powerful winds, storm surge and other problems to the US coast from Florida to the Carolinas in the coming days. Forecasters warn it has the potential to be incredibly destructive, adding it is forecast to strengthen further over the coming day or so and could become a Category 4 storm as it nears Florida.
Below is a look at some other destructive hurricanes in US history:
– In 2005, Hurricane Katrina left 1,800 people dead and was the costliest storm in US history with damage estimated at $108 billion. It was a Category 3 storm when it made landfall over Louisiana.
– In 1938, roughly 700 people died in the Great New England Hurricane. It raked the region as a Category 3 storm and wiped out railroad tracks, utilities, homes, crops and the fishing industry, according to the National Weather Service.
– In 1928, the Great Okeechobee Hurricane struck Florida as a Category 4 storm, leaving more than 2,500 dead. Lake Okeechobee overflowed, causing disastrous flooding that inundated several communities.
– In 1900, a hurricane made landfall in Galveston, Texas, with winds estimated to be at least 130 miles per hour and a storm surge of a whopping 15 feet. Some 8,000 people died, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says damage estimates exceeded $20 million at the time – roughly $700 million in today’s dollars.