In a typical year, about 100 storms and tropical disturbances develop in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico. Some of these turn into tropical storms, and on average, two each year become hurricanes that make landfall in the U.S.40 Between 1851 and 2016, 289 hurricanes affected the continental U.S. Of these, 63 made landfall in Texas.41
Of course, hurricanes and other major storms affect the entire country, not just the Gulf Coast. Exhibit 6 lists the most destructive storms affecting the U.S. in the last half-century.
Hurricane Katrina, which caused $161.3 billion in damages, still ranks as the costliest storm in American history; Hurricane Harvey is expected to rank second, with total estimated damages of about $125 billion.45
Publication Date: February 2018, accessed April 2023
Publication Site: Fiscal Notes, Comptroller of Texas