Hurricane Alessa
Category 5 hurricane (SSHS)
Formed June 1
Dissipated June 30
Damage +$93 billion (USD)

Hurricane Alessa was a Category 5 that affected most of the entire East Coast. This storm has been compared to several other hurricanes, like Hurricane Donna of 1960 in areas affected, Hurricane Camille in 1969, and Typhoon Tip in 1979 for strength, Hurricane Fifi of 1974, and Hurricane Mitch in 1998 for number of deaths.

Storm history

The formation was traced to a wave near the Cape Verde Islands on June 1. Alessa stayed weak most of the time while traversing the Atlantic Ocean, not reaching tropical storm strength until June 5 due to moderate upper-level wind shear. The hurricane first struck Florida on June 8, then started to follow a track slightly inwards, nearly becoming extratropical around South Carolina while it was a Category 3 on June 14. However, then the inexplicable happened. Hurricane Bert, which was nearby, was suddenly sheared, then absorbed into Alessa, providing a large amount of tropical energy, due to the fact that Bert was Category 2 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. Alessa was also forced slightly out to sea due to the resulting Fujiwhara effect. Later, on June 19 however, Alessa suddenly weakened quickly, becoming subtropical and weakening to tropical storm strength while striking Newfoundland. Soon it became extratropical around Greenland, while recurving out to sea. It strenghened back to a subtropical storm around Scandanavia over sea surface temperatures of not more than 18º C. The subtropical remnants of Alessa continued to weaken until it was a remnant low on June 28. The National Hurricane Center discontinued advisories on June 30, while the remnant low was over Franz Josef Land.


Well executed evacuations took place in Florida, but the further north one traveled, the worse it was, with the fact that hurricanes do not hit northerly areas like New York very often. Miami had well planned evacuations, executed with minimal injury. Cities up north such as Washington, D.C, Boston, and New York fared poorly with about 950 casualties due to poor evaucation protocol, causing major traffic gridlock. Roughly 400 people went missing when storm surge on FDR Drive caused several hundred cars to get swept out to sea. The Abaco Islands also fared poorly, due to the fact that, as illustrated in the photo, the island chain was "swallowed up" by the cloud coverage of Alessa.


Cape Verde Islands

Not much damage occoured here as the system was still only a tropical wave. Damages totaled $15,000-20,000 from minor damages .

Abaco Islands

The Abaco Islands fared poorly due to the fact that Alessa had just explosively deepened to a 190 mph Category 5 from a weak 50 mph tropical storm. There were 900-1000 fatalities and 58 people are missing.

United States

Alessa struck in Florida, still as a Category 5, not having weakened even after crossing the Abaco Islands. Damages here exceeded $60 billion. 7000 deaths occured here mostly around New York City due to poorly executed evacuations that hadn't been needed for many years.


Hardest hit here was Newfoundland, which received about $500 million to $750 million Canadian dollars of damage. Death toll was 150-300.


Still sparsely populated, a tornado here killed 1 person. Otherwise, Greenland was mostly unharmed.


Ireland fared well, with one fatality and damages only at $1.2 million.


Damages here were sparse, but Alessa collapsed 2 bridges, one of which had a train on it at the time, which killed 100-200 people. Damages here totaled to the equivalent of $365 million.


Here, Alessa killed 25-30 people as the area hadn't been affected by a strong system since Hurricane Faith in 1966. Damages totalled to the equivalent of $1.5 billion.