Florida has been the landing site of 11 named hurricanes in the last 30 years. Some of the names are still memorable all those decades later for the destruction they caused. Because of its long coastline in both the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, Florida is particularly susceptible to damage from hurricanes.
Although it hit Homestead in 1992, the name Hurricane Andrew still strikes fear in the hearts of those in the southern Miami area. The high winds of this category 5 hurricane made many area residents thankful for their impact resistant windows West Palm Beach. Andrew destroyed tens of thousands of businesses and homes and was the first major storm to hit that area in over 30 years.
Another category 5 hurricane, Michael, hit a completely different part of Florida 26 years later. This fast-moving giant rapidly increased in size before delivering a mighty blow to the Florida panhandle. Tyndall Air Force Base suffered $3 billion in damage alone. The site of most destruction, Mexico Beach, is said to have looked like it had been leveled by a bomb.
Tornado producing Hurricane Charley was the first in line in a highly active 2004 hurricane season for Floridians. Recorded as a category 4 with sustained winds of 150 miles per hour, Charley hit on the Gulf side of the state near Fort Myers. Although the storm seemed headed towards the Tampa Bay area, it veered northeast and crossed the state going through Orlando and out to the Atlantic Ocean instead, before continuing its path up the east coast.
In 2017, Hurricane Irma became the deadliest and costliest Florida storm on record. Although it vacillated between a category 3 and category 5 storm before it hit the Florida mainland, it brought a 10-foot storm surge to the vulnerable Florida Keys. Irma headed up the length of Florida and continued to cause trouble all the way up to Nashville.
Living along the coast always brings weather challenges. The long Florida coastline makes it especially vulnerable to hurricanes.