It was 18 years ago when Hurricane Katrina barreled through Louisiana, causing unprecedented devastation. It was also 18 years ago when we were in the middle of the most active hurricane season ever.

The 2005 hurricane season set a massive number of records. Before 2005, the most active season was 1933. Let’s take a look at some of the most impressive records.

  • Most named storms at 28. (Broke previous record of 21 in 1933)
  • 15 hurricanes in a season. (Broke previous record of 12 in 1969)
  • Four intense hurricanes made landfall in the U.S. (Old record of 3 in 2004)
  • Four category-five hurricanes. (Broke the previous record of 2 in 1960 & 1961)

The 2005 season saw the most storm names retired, with five. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is in charge of retiring names. When a hurricane causes significant damage or loss of life, the WMO may retire it from the list, and replace it with a new name. The 2005 hurricanes strong enough to be retired were:

  • Dennis
  • Katrina
  • Rita
  • Stan
  • Wilma

Hurricane Katrina was the costliest hurricane ever, adding up to nearly $170 billion in damages. Hurricane Katrina also took over 1,800 lives.

Shortly after Katrina ravaged Louisiana, Hurricane Rita made landfall on September 24, 2005. Rita was the third most intense hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic Basin. The most intense hurricane ever in the Atlantic Basin came a few weeks later with Wilma. Hurricane Wilma struck the Cozumel, before tracking across the far southern part of Florida.

2005’s hurricane season was so active that the season officially ended in 2006. It was the latest ending to any hurricane season, wrapping up on January 6, 2006.

Since 2005, Florida Atlantic University has done a study on the emergency preparedness of America’s 50 largest cities. Overall, they found there is still a lack of preparedness when it comes to evacuating careless and vulnerable populations.