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Comparing Irma to Other Storms

Posted By: Brad Thompson In: Hurricane and Tropical Storm Tracking
Date: Thu, Sep 14th 2017 9:42 am

Hurricane Irma has moved on, but the destruction she left behind remains. Although the Lowcountry avoided a direct hit, that fact is not necessarily reflected by the damage and fear experienced by many residents. As Charleston begins to recover from the storm, perhaps we should take stock of what exactly happened to our city and how it compares to past storms.

Perhaps the most shocking images to come out of the Lowcountry were of the flooding and storm surge at the battery. This was not just a result of Irma, but also the fact that her arrival coincided with high tide, causing a surge which almost reached 10 feet. Places like Edisto Beach were devastated, with Irma washing away a $17 million dune restoration project.  The area is still recovering and we won’t know exact figures for some time, but here’s what we know so far about how Irma compared to storms in the past:

Storm Surge

Irma:  9.92 feet

Hugo:  16 feet

Floyd:  3.5 feet

Flooding of 2015:  None (not a tropical storm)

Matthew:  9.29 feet

Heaviest Rainfall

Irma:  5.61 inches

Hugo:  10.28 inches

Floyd:  15 inches

Flooding of 2015:  21.49 inches

Matthew:  17.49 inches

Highest Wind Gusts

Irma:  76 mph gusts

Hugo:  160 mph gusts

Floyd:  70 mph gusts

Flooding of 2015:  Not Relevant

Matthew:  88 mph gusts


Irma:  Unknown, potentially up to $2 billion

Hugo:  $7 billion

Floyd:  $60 million

Flooding of 2015:  over $100 million

Matthew:  $64 million


Irma:  4

Hugo:  13

Floyd:  None

Flooding of 2015:  19

Matthew:  4

(General facts about Irma not specific to South Carolina)

I hope everyone reading this was able to stay safe this weekend! Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any real estate needs following the storm, and of course, any future needs as well. Have a great weekend!