The 2012 hurricane season was much more active than a typical season, with 19 named storms and ten of them becoming hurricanes. Three of the storms really changed the way we think about tropical weather.
"We had a tropical storm dump tremendous amounts of water and deluge the state of Florida, proving once again a tropical storm is just not a tropical storm," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate.
That tropical storm was Debby, which pounded Florida with four days of rain in June of 2012. The storm dumped more than a foot of rain in Pasco and Pinellas counties. It also spawned seven tornadoes in the Tampa Bay area, one that killed a young mother in southern Highlands County--pulling her baby from her arms.
The damage from Debby reached as much as $300 million.
"We had a hurricane, that many people would have normally described as a minimal hurricane once again demonstrating there's nothing minimal even in a category one hurricane," said Fugate.
That hurricane was named Isaac--the storm everyone worried about when Tampa was chosen to host the 2012 Republican National Convention. It late August, it looked the convention would get an uninvited guest, so RNC officials decided the cancel the first day of the convention.
Florida did see damage from Hurricane Isaac, but New Orleans took the biggest hit. The price tag for Isaac: $2.5 billion.
"And then we see a storm that evolves into a post tropical at landfall and becomes now the second most costly hurricane on record," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate.
Hurricane Sandy was a storm like no other--affecting two dozen states along the east coast, from Florida to Canada. It forced the evacuation of three quarters of a million people and killed 285.
Sandy brought storm surge to New Jersey and New York City, destroying homes along the shore and wrecking parts of the famous boardwalk and attractions at Coney Island and the Jersey Shore. Estimates of the damage are $75 billion--second only to Hurricane Kantrina.
"Let's hope it's a quite hurricane season," said Fugate. "But in our business, it ain't about hope. It about being ready."