Hurricane Andrew (1992), $51.3 billion in damage
Hurricane Andrew was, as you probably remember, a compact storm. However, it was incredibly powerful. In fact, it was one of the four storms that ever hit the United States as a Category 5, with powerful winds of 157 mph or even higher.
Those winds, or better said, the storm surge, was at fault for all the damages to South Florida in August 1992, as it peeled with ease the paint off buildings, pulled trees and utility poles from the ground, and even flipped cars and semi-trailers. Some of the worst damages were registered in NOAA’s own meteorological lab, on Key Biscayne, right outside Miami.