Seven Strongest Atlantic Hurricane’s on Record

Hurricanes are one of nature’s most powerful forces. Combining high winds, torrential rains and powerful storm surges, these tempests always leave the same calling card – a tragic path of death and destruction. Hurricanes can be historically ranked by a number of variables, including strength (pressure), wind speed (Saffir-Simpson Scale), the amount of property damage caused or the number of lives lost. Furthermore, these hurricanes can be ranked according to each storm’s highest, overall strength or their strength at landfall. This list provides a ranking of the seven strongest hurricanes, based upon the highest wind speeds produced – regardless of when the storm achieved this maximum strength.

1. Hurricane Camille 1969


2. Hurricane Wilma 2005


3. Hurricane Gilbert 1988

Hurricane Gilbert, a category 5 hurricane, reached maximum intensity on September 14, with a minimum central pressure of 888 millibars. The hurricane produced maximum sustained winds of 160 knots. Gilbert made landfall in the Yucatan peninsula as a category 5 hurricane – one of only three hurricanes to make landfall as a category 5 storm. Gilbert was responsible for 256 deaths.

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Pier in Kitty Hawk, NC taking huge hurricane like waves …

Pier in Kitty Hawk, NC taking huge hurricane like waves and winds.

4. Hurricane Rita 2005

Hurricane Rita reached maximum intensity on September 22, as a category 5 hurricane. The storm produced maximum sustained winds of 155 knots, with maximum winds of 161 knots. Rita’s minimum central pressure of 897 millibars ranks her as the fourth strongest Atlantic hurricane. Rita made landfall near the Texas and Louisiana border as a category 3 hurricane, causing 7 deaths.

5. Hurricane Katrina 2005

Hurricane Katrina peaked as a category 5 hurricane on August 28, with a minimum central pressure of 902 millibars – the fifth strongest hurricane on record. The storm produced maximum sustained winds of 150 knots. Katrina made landfall near Buras, Louisiana, as a category 3 hurricane, resulting in approximately 1,200 deaths. This gives Katrina the undesired distinction of being one of the five deadliest hurricanes in U.S. history. Estimates place the total damage caused by Katrina at roughly $81 billion, more than three times the cost of Hurricane Andrew ($26.5 billion) – leaving her indelible mark on history as the costliest natural disaster ever.

6. Hurricane Andrew 1992

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Hurricane Katrina near peak strength on August 28, …

Hurricane Katrina near peak strength on August 28, 2005

Hurricane Andrew reached maximum intensity as a category 5 hurricane on August 23, with a minimum central pressure of 922 millibars. The hurricane produced maximum sustained winds of 150 knots. Andrew made landfall in South Florida as a category 4 hurricane, and again in Louisiana as a category 3 hurricane, resulting in 23 total deaths.

The “X” Factor: Florida Keys Hurricane 1935

The Florida Keys hurricane in 1935 was the third strongest hurricane on record, with a minimum central pressure of 892 millibars. However, it is hard to precisely rank this hurricane because no wind-speed data is available from the storm’s core. Conservative estimates place the maximum sustained winds at 140 knots, though it is much more likely that they were in the 150 to 160-knot range. The hurricane made landfall in the Florida Keys as a category 5 hurricane – one of only three hurricanes to make landfall as a category 5 storm. This hurricane left 408 deaths in her wake.


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Historical Hurricane Tracks

Novels vs Short Stories (upcoming)

I’m planning on putting up at least one post covering the differences between short stories and novels. It won’t be today, because I still don’t have internet access at home (Thank you, Comcast! You suck!) Once I get that back, then I’ll work on preparing it to put up here. Hopefully it’ll help folks out.

Please bear with me during this inconvenient period of time.


Senators Ask if NSA Collected Gun Data

Now I’m not whack job gun owner, but as a more liberal leaning social person, I find the intrusions on citizen’s rights to be most troubling. In many ways I reminds me of the famous quote about Nazi Germany:

First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Catholic.

Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.

Here’s the rub. If we don’t stand up for our rights, which range from free speech to the right to bear arms and defend ourselves, than we’re asking for trouble. A lot of people I know who are farther to the left than I am, say this abridgement is fine that we need to “reign in” some of these rights and have no problem with the spying, etc etc. Well, as  I tell them, that’s all well and good, but weren’t you the same ones raising holy hell over the Patriot Act (which I despise) and G.W. Bush (who I also despise) using too much of the Federal Government’s power to control us? It was wrong then but suddenly right now because someone of the same ideology is in power?? 

How stupid! Just because it’s the right wing people being investigated now doesn’t mean the shoe can’t be on the other foot and then the left wing groups will be heavily investigated. Oh yes, this is a problem to my friends, but not right now. How intellectually dishonest. I have a problem with it all-regardless of who’s in power. 






Senators are questioning whether the National Security Agency collected bulk data on more than just Americans’ phone records, such as firearm and book purchases.

A bipartisan group of 26 senators, led by Sen. Ron Wyden (D., Ore.) asked Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to detail the scope and limits of the National Security Agency’s surveillance activities in a letterreleased Friday.

“We are concerned that by depending on secret interpretations of the PATRIOT Act that differed from an intuitive reading of the statute, this program essentially relied for years on a secret body of law,” the senators wrote in the letter.

The NSA’s surveillance program has come under intense scrutiny following a leak revealing the agency harvested the phone metadata of millions of American citizens.

The senators noted that the federal government’s authority under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act is broad and rife with potential for abuse. Among the senators’ concerns was whether the NSA’s bulk data harvesting program could be used to construct a gun registry or violate other privacy laws.

“It can be used to collect information on credit card purchases, pharmacy records, library records, firearm sales records, financial information, and a range of other sensitive subjects,” the senators wrote. “And the bulk collection authority could potentially be used to supersede bans on maintaining gun owner databases, or laws protecting the privacy of medical records, financial records, and records of book and movie purchases.”

The senators asked Clapper in the letter whether the NSA used PATRIOT Act authorities to conduct bulk collection of other types of records, and whether there are any instances of the agency violating a court order in the process of such collections.

Civil libertarians say such surveillance is a violation of privacy. However, the government has defended the program, saying it helped thwart several terrorist attacks and is minimally invasive.

Second Amendment groups and Republican members of Congress have long warned against the creation of a national gun registry. Fears of such a registry bogged down several attempts to forge a bipartisan gun-control bill in the Senate earlier this year.

“In this country, the government can’t just monitor your constitutionally
protected activities—like gun ownership—just because it wants to,” said Brian Phillips, a spokesman for Sen. Mike Lee (R., Utah), who signed onto the letter.  “The justification that, ‘if you’re not doing anything wrong, you don’t have to worry about it,’ turns us into a police state very quickly. That’s why
Congress is right to seek broad oversight of the NSA’s data collection programs.”


150 Years Later, Two States Are Still Fighting Over the Battle of Gettysburg

Now I’m not racist, and I don’t condone the history of slavery and the role BOTH the United States and Africa played in it. It was a travesty that still continues to this day in certain parts of the world. And sexual slavery, and the human trafficking to feed it, is a Global Problem. However, living in Virginia, (and hear me out of this) I don’t have a problem with the flag being borrowed. You see, this state, along with Md. and PA, played a massive role in the Civil War. It was here that the Monitor and Merrimack fought their famous battle. This set the stage for the modern battleship.

Virginia also was both the Capital of the South (Richmond specifically) and the scene (Appomatox, Va. located 20 miles east of Lynchburg Va along US Rt 460) of the final surrender of the South to the North. Thus, the history of the Civil War is forever linked to the state whether people like it or not. In fact, there are entire regiments (as I’ve shown in my pictures on this blog) that are buried in Hollywood Cemetery in downtown Richmond. Most of these men died in Harper’s Ferry, Bull Run (outside Manassas Va) and Gettysburg.

Like it or not, the history is linked to us down here and I don’t feel it’s too much to borrow it for something-provided equal time is given to both the issues of states rights (which was the driving point of the war) and slavery are covered in equality. History needs to be taught freely to people and not be limited to Political Correctness, which, in my opinion, is ruining this country. The thought police will ruin a person for just saying the wrong thing. As a writer, and a defender of Free Speech (even when I find the comments offensive), it’s most troubling that we’re trying so hard to limit it. Doesn’t anyone know their history and what happens when the combination of free speech, right to defend yourself, and habeus corpus  are taken away? Dictatorships are on its heels. 

civil war




Virginia wants a captured Confederate flag back. Minnesota’s governor says “it would be a sacrilege to return it to them.”

By Brian Resnick

Updated: June 28, 2013 | 12:54 p.m. 
June 28, 2013 | 12:40 p.m.


Next week marks the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, but it appears, somehow, there is still some bad blood between a pair of Northern and Southern states.

Here’s the controversy: The Minnesota Historical Society has a Confederate flag in its possession, captured from a Virginia regiment during the last day of the battle. For the sake of the anniversary, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell asked Minnesota to loan it to them (McDonnell is the governor who had declared April 2010 “Confederate History Month” at the behest of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, but then apologized for not mentioning slavery in the proclamation.) Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton’sresponse to the request was simple: No way.

As he told a crowd of reporters and Civil War reenactors earlier this week:

The governor of Virginia earlier this year requested that the flag be loaned, quote, unquote, to Virginia to commemorate–it doesn’t quite strike me as something they would want to commemorate, but we declined that invitation.


It was taken in a battle at the cost of the blood of all these Minnesotans. And I think it would be a sacrilege to return it to them. It was something that was earned through the incredible courage and valor of men who gave their lives and risked their lives to obtain it. And, as far as I’m concerned, it’s a closed subject.

Why the Resistance? The Abridged Story of the Virginia Flag

Marshall Sherman, 1823-1896
The Minnesota 1st Volunteer Infantry Regiment captured the flag on July 3, 1863, the last day of the battle. On July 2, the Minnesota 1st had suffered massive losses after being ordered to conduct a diversionary strike on the Confederates while the Union collected reinforcements. At the end of the day, only 47 out of more than 250 Minnesotan men were still alive. One of those remaining was Pvt. Marshall Sherman (pictured right; he actually sat out the battle).

The next day, Sherman along with the remaining members of the Minnesota 1st were in the the center of the Union lines when Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee ordered an assault. “Pickett’s Charge,” as it is called, is considered the high-water mark of the Confederacy.

It was a brutal, chaotic scene. “We just rushed in like wild beasts,” one Minnesotan fighter recalled. “Men swore and cursed and struggled and fought, grappled in hand-to-hand fight, threw stones, clubbed their muskets, kicked, yelled, and hurrahed.” The charge failed, leading to the Union victory at Gettysburg. 

Amid the firefight, Sherman eyed a Virginian “shouting like mad,” according to a Roanoke Timesrecollection. He was barefoot, the legend goes, as he charged the Virginian with his bayonet. Jabbing at the enemy, Sherman said, “Throw down that flag or I’ll run you through.” He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his effort.

That’s one reason the flag is so important to the state: The blood it took to get it and the valor bestowed upon Sherman for capturing it confer a historical pride. The flag remains “one of the true treasures of the Minnesota Historical Society,” as the society says on its website.

Over the years, there have been many calls for Confederate flags to be returned to their home states. President Cleveland issued even an executive order in 1887 to return the colors of a few Confederate units in an act of good will. Many scoffed at that, including former Confederate President Jefferson Davis, who, according to the Roanoke Times, said that banners belong to the captors, by “all known military precedents.” Cleveland eventually rescinded the order.

In 2000, Chris Caveness, a Roanoke resident, spearheaded a federal lawsuit to get the flag back in Virginia based on a 1905 act of Congress allowing for the return of Confederate flags in possession of the War Department. From the Roanoke Times:

Caveness … enlisted his own big gun in the form of former Virginia Attorney General Anthony Troy. Helped by a cadre of Richmond Law School students, Troy wrote his own 45-page legal opinion with exhibits, arguing “federal property cannot be abandoned or disposed without Congressional assent.” Since Congress never gave the flag away, Troy concluded, Minnesota is illegally in possession of it.

The litigation did not result in action. And the skirmish over the flag continues, 150 years later.

For those interested in reading more about the fight over the flag, visit the Minnesota Historical Society.

H/T Kevin Levin at Civil War Memory