HURRICANE ANDREW 1992: Andrew, one of the most intense and the last of the three Category 5 hurricanes to make US landfall in the 20th century, cause the most damage in Florida. Here, a water tower, and landmark in Florida City, still stands on Aug. 25, 1992 while a coastal community lays in ruins. Andrew had sustained winds of 165 miles per hour, which made it a Category 5. AP/FILE
HURRICANE GILBERT 1988: With the 2009 hurricane season offically upon us, here is a look at some of the memorable hurricanes in the past 20 years. Hurricane Gilbert, lasting for nine days, wreaked havoc in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. Here, a fishing boat driven up on to the sand sits on a beach in Cancun, Mexico. The boat had to be cut into pieces to get it off the beach. Gilbert is the second most intense hurricane on record, behind Hurricane Wilma. When Gilbert hit Mexico's Yucatan peninsula, the Category 3 hurricane had become a Category 5. NEWSCOM/FILE
HURRICANE HUGO 1989: A sailboat lies in the street of Charleston, S.C., on Sept. 22, 1989 after it was washed ashore by Hurricane Hugo. Hugo, a Category 5 hurricane, killed 109 people and left nearly 100,000 homeless in its wake. Lou Krasky/AP/FILE
HURRICANE OPAL 1995: Residents of Destin, Fla., take a look at damage along the oceanfront boardwalk on Oct. 6, 1995. A Category 4 hurricane, Opal had rainfall which peaked in Florida at 15.45 inches and a storm surge of 15 feet was recorded in the Pensacola, Florida Panhandle area. Flooding in Mexico's Yucatan peninsula and Guatemala reportedly killed 50 people in those countries. Colin Braley/Reuters/FILE
HURRICANE MITCH 1998: A Nicaraguan soldier leads a group of residents towards a military helicopter in La Cenicera, which was affected by heavy flodding from Hurricane Mitch, on Nov. 1. The Category 5 hurricane was slow moving and dropped historic amounts of rainfall in Honduras and Nicaragua. Nearly 11, 000 people were killed with many deaths due to the excessive flooding. Hundreds of thousands of people lost their homes in the aftermath of Mitch. Mario Lopez/AP/FILE
HURRICANE FLOYD 1999: In Longport, N.J., the surf whipped up by the approaching Hurricane Floyd crashes against the bulkhead on Sept. 16. The Category 4 hurricane triggered the third largest evacuation in US history (behind Hurricanes Gustav and Rita) when 2.6 million coastal residents of five states were ordered from their home. The storm struck as a Category 2 hurricane in North Carolina, and then travled up the East Coast through the Mid-Atlantic region and into New England. Chris Polk/AP/FILE
HURRICANE ISABEL 2003: On Sept. 19, Glenda Giovanoni, co-owner of Old Town Fish Market in Alexandria, Va., cleans up a ice cream parlor next door after it was swamped by floodwaters from the storm surge of Hurricane Isabel. Virginia reported the most deaths and damage from the Category 5 hurricane. Andy Nelson/The Christian Science Monitor/FILE
HURRICANE CHARLEY 2004: The Category 4 hurricane struck Florida at full strength, making it the strongest hurricane to hit the US since Hurricane Andrew. It also struck Florida 22 hours after Tropical Storm Bonnie hit the state. This was the first time in history that two tropical cyclones hit the same state in a 24-hour time period. Here, boats lay in disarray at a marina in Punta Gorda, Fla., on Aug. 14. J. Pat Carter/AP/FILE
HURRICANE IVAN 2004: Ivan, a Category 5, was the size of Texas at its peak. Damage to Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and the western tip of Cuba was catastrophic and the storm caused an estimated $13 billion in damages to the US. In some places in Florida, over three feet of sand was moved and pushed into homes as part of the storm surge from Hurricane Ivan. Mari Darr Welch/The Northwest Florida Daily News/AP/FILE
HURRICANE KATRINA 2005: From this infamous Category 5 storm, the most loss of life and damage occurred in New Orleans, La. The levee system in the city catastrophically failed and the federal flood protection system in New Orleans failed at more than fifty places, nearly every levee being breached. Eventually 80 percent of the city became flooded, and 1,836 people lost their lives. Here, stranded people make their way along a flooded Canal Street in New Orleans on Aug. 30. Gary Coronado/The Palm Beach Post/AP/FILE
HURRICANE RITA 2005: Officials prepare for Hurricane Rita evacuees on Sept. 21 at the First Baptist Church in Tyler, Texas. After being pummeled by Hurricane Katrina earlier that fall, the reopening of New Orleans was delayed because of Rita. A pre-landfall storm surge overwhelmed a levee in the Inudstrial Canal protecting the Lower Nineth Ward, a part still fragile and compromised from Katrina. The rapidly intensifying Rita made landfall on Sept. 24 between Sabine Pass, Texas, and Johnsons Bayou, La. Extreme damage resulted along the Louisiana and Texas coasts, particularly to the oil industry. DJ Peters/Tyler Morning Telegraph/AP/FILE
HURRICANE WILMA 2005: A small shed is blown across a road by the winds of Hurricane Wilma on Oct. 24 in downtown Naples, Fla. A Category 5, Wilma is the most intense hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic basin, but it was a Category 3 when it made landfall in several places, causing the most destruction in the Yucatan Peninsula, Cuba, and Florida. Wilfredo Lee/AP/FILE
HURRICANE GUSTAV 2008: People in St. Paul, Minn., watch the status of Hurricane Gustav on the first day of the Republican National Convention (RNC) at the Xcel center on Sept. 1. Gustav prompted the largest evacuation in US history with 3 million people fleeing the oncoming hurricane. Gustav made landfall in Haiti and Cuba, then gradually weakened as it crossed the Gulf of Mexico and made landfall again in Cocodrie, La., on Sept. 1. President George W. Bush declared 34 areas of Louisiana disaster areas. Events at the RNC were postponed and nominee Sen. John McCain cancelled all non-essential opening-day festivities at the convention. Mary Knox Merrill/Staff/FILE
Hurricane Sandy knocked down trees, clogged streets and killed at least three people in the Caribbean. The storm is expected to hit the U.S. East Coast over the weekend and into next week. Flooding, high winds and downed trees are of concern.
Hurricane Sandy swelled into a major threat to much of the U.S. East Coast on Thursday after lashing Cuba with heavy rains and tree-toppling winds and swirling through the Bahamas, U.S. forecasters said.