1. 1935 Labor Day Hurricane

Date: 1935
Deaths: 423

This top storm on our list has been called "the most powerful hurricane ever to strike the U.S. coastline." It was a category 5 hurricane featuring wind speeds over 200 mph and the lowest barometric pressure ever recorded. It developed in the Bahamas and didn't even look threatening until it burst onto the Florida coast.

At the time of the storm, there were hundreds of unemployed veterans living in tents and shacks while they waited for work to begin on the highway. The high winds and sudden storm surge took them completely by surprise, washing away all the small shelters, their belongings, and many of the men. A train sent to rescue the workers was itself swept away by a 17-foot high surge of water, and almost all the men aboard were killed. There were 423 deaths, and $6 million in damages, which is over $71 million when adjusted for inflation.