FOCUS: A Look at Some of the Most Deadly U.S. Hurricanes

(AP) —
Motorists wait in a line of cars to buy gas at a Chevron gasoline station, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016, in Hollywood, Fla. Hurricane Matthew marched toward Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas and nearly 2 million people along the coast were urged to evacuate their homes Wednesday, a mass exodus ahead of a major storm packing power the U.S. hasn't seen in more than a decade. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Motorists wait in a line of cars to buy gas at a Chevron gasoline station, Wednesday, in Hollywood, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

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 that Matthew — with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph — could bring heavy rain, powerful winds, storm surge and other problems to the U.S. coast from Florida to the Carolinas in the coming days. Forecasters warn it has the potential to be incredibly destructive, adding that 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 U.S. history:

  • In 2005 Hurricane Katrina left 1,800 people dead and was the costliest storm in U.S. 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.

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