JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — In a press conference Wednesday evening, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis stated that Hurricane Ian may rank as one of the top five most powerful hurricanes to hit the Florida peninsula.
So let's take a look at some of the most powerful hurricanes to hit the state.
Note: These storms are in no particular order but are often referred to as some of the most powerful storms to hit Florida.
1. Hurricane Michael
Michael started as a tropical storm in 2018 but grew to a category 5 hurricane in just 72 hours. It hit the Florida panhandle on Oct. 10, 2018, with winds around 160 miles per hour, according to the weather channel.
Michael was the last category 5 hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. and only the fourth on record. Michael was directly responsible for 16 deaths and about $25 billion in damage in the U.S.
Click here to read more about Hurricane Michael.
2. The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935
According to the Associated Press, the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 was a category 5 storm that devastated parts of the Florida Keys. It is believed to have been the strongest hurricane to make landfall in the United States, based on barometric pressure. AP reports the hurricane killed more than 400 people and became on the 10 deadliest storms in U.S. history.
Click here to read reports from AP first published on Sept. 2, 1935.
3. Hurricane Andrew
The National Weather Service reports Hurricane Andrew made landfall with maximum sustained winds of around 160 miles per hour on Aug. 24, 1992.
According to a 2018 report from Accuweather, more than 25,000 homes were destroyed and over 100,000 others were damaged. In Homestead, Florida 99.2% of mobile homes were completely destroyed, Communications Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management Alberto Moscoso told Accuweather.
Click here to read more about Hurricane Andrew.
4. Hurricane Irma
Irma was a category 4 hurricane that impacted the entire state of Florida after making landfall on Sept. 10, 2017.
In addition to flooding from the story, Irma reportedly caused 21 tornados across Florida, three of which registered as EF2.
Overall It made a total of seven landfalls across the Caribbean and the United States resulting in a total of 134 deaths and causing over 70 billion dollars in damages.
Click here to read more about Hurricane Irma.
5. Okeechobee Hurricane
On Sept. 16, 1928, the Okeechobee Hurricane hit South Florida as a category 4 hurricane.
Reports at one point estimated around 2,300 people died in the storm. The true number was later lowered to 1,770, according to the National Weather Service.
Most of the lives lost were around Lake Okeechobee. The combination of strong winds piled the water up at the south end of the lake, eventually topping the levee and leading water to rush out onto the fertile land. Thousands of people, mostly non-white migrant farm workers, drowned.
Click here to learn more about the Okeechobee Hurricane.