Category 3 Hurricane

Isabel's path
Formed Sept.4
Dissipated Sept.14
Accumulated Cyclone Energy 13.29
Highest winds 125MPH
Lowest pressure 958
Damages $11.105 billion (2015 USD)
Direct Fatalities 122
Indirect Fatalities 21
Missing 14
Areas affected Cape Verde, Lesser Antilles, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, Bahamas, Florida, Georgia, South-East US
Part of the
2003 Atlantic Hurricanes Season
Hurricane Isabel was strong category 3 hurricane in the North Atlantic Ocean. It killed 87 directly and 57 indirectly and left 14 missing. Along it's path, it caused $9.5 billion in damages (2015 USD). It affected Almost all the islands in the Caribbean and most of the South-East US. It also caused a large tornado outbreak in the south east US and Bahamas.

Meteorlogical History

On September 2, 2003, a tropical invest formed 20 miles West of Cape Verde. On September 4, it developed into Tropical Depression 10. It headed North-West for a day until the NHC in Miami, Florida classified it as Tropical Storm Isabel. On September 6, it impacted the Lesser Antilles as a 55 mph storm, killing 3 people on a fishing trip. On the morning of September 8, It began a new track and headed North North-West and later that day became a category 1 hurricane. On September 9, it made landfall in Haiti, then strengthened into a category 2 hurricane, and finally swept through extreme Eastern Cuba. In Haiti, 14 were killed, and 9 in Cuba perished as a result of Isabel. In between the Bahamas and Cuba, it strengthened into a Category 3 hurricane and then on September 10, made landfall in the Bahamas, killing 25 people. It then grazed the East Coast of Florida, killing 78 people.It made landfall in Georgia's east banks, which was somewhat of a rare occasion, as a category 2 hurricane, killing 9. It continued inland and weakened to a tropical storm, and then a tropical depression, and finally dissipated on September 14.


Lesser Antilles

Upon impacting the Lesser Antilles on September 6, it caused minor damage. Fishing boats were overturned in numerous harbors. It caused a storm surge of 3 feet on the southern islands. 3 people died when their boat was overturned by large waves. Large scale search and rescue teams were deployed in Grenada and Saint Vincent. The Lesser Antilles would need $209 million dollars in order to rebuild.

Haiti and Jamaica

On September 9, Isabel affected Jamaica and made landfall in Haiti. It had 80 mph winds and a central pressure of 986 mbar. When it made landfall in Haiti, Haiti was still recovering from a large 6.4 earthquake, which had killed 602 people, and destroyed 75% of eastern Haiti. Despite having little to no shelter, only 14 people died as a result of Isabel in Haiti. In Jamaica, large waves caused Coast Guards to close most beaches in Jamaica. The size of Isabel caused heavy rain and 35 mph winds across the island. Isabel caused over 10,000 people in Jamaica to go without power. In total, Isabel caused $846 million in damages throughout Jamaica and Haiti.


When Isabel left Haiti, it strengthened into a category 2 hurricane with 100 mph winds and a minimum pressure of 969 mbar. Like Haiti, it felt the tremors from the 6.4 earthquake. However, unlike Haiti, when Isabel struck Cuba, it was a category 2 hurricane, thus it caused more damage. Massive evacuation cautions were taken seriously. Even though almost 50,000 evacuated, about 50,000 stayed in their homes. Isabel brought heavy rains and a 10 foot storm surge, which drowned 4 people who lived on the coast. By the time Isabel left the country of Cuba, thousands of buildings had been heavily damaged or destroyed. In Cuba, Isabel caused $900 million in damages.


By September 10, Isabel had become a category 3 hurricane and was over the Bahamas. By the time Isabel's eye had passed over the Bahamas, Andros, the largest island in the Bahamas, was under 5 feet of water, and at least 13 people had drowned on Anrdos alone. In Isabel's wake, the storm left the Bahamas in a pile of ruins. Isabel caused many people to evacuate over 50 islands. Hundreds of people were affected over the island country. Many structures were blown down by the strong 120 mph winds. Isabel caused at least $1 billion in damages, the costliest since Katrina in 2005.

United States of America


Shortly after ravaging the Bahamas, Isabel thrashed Florida. It damaged thousands of homes up and down the east coast of Florida. In Miami, about 150,000 people evacuated due to the fact that the regular height of the city is about 6 feet. A large storm surge of 15 feet flooded most of the city. Large skyscrapers in downtown Miami had their windows blown out, raining glass all over the streets below. Hundreds of people got hospitalized due to them wading in glass filled water. At 12:17P.M., September 11, a 20 story Bank of America building toppled to the ground, killing all 76 people in the building. Hundreds of trees and telephone poles were downed throughout East Florida. Isabel caused $8 billion in damages in Florida, almost $7 billion alone was from the Bank of America building that fell to the ground. An additional 6 people drowned in deep waters.


Isabel made landfall in Georgia as a category 2 hurricane, the first hurricane landfall since Hurricane David in 1979. When Isabel made landfall, it had 100 mph winds, making it a category 2 hurricane. Savannah, Georgia had about 35,000 people evacuate.Flash Floods destroyed or swept away many homes on the east banks of Georgia. Savannah had a storm surge of 10 feet roll through the streets of the town. In Georgia, Isabel killed 6 people and caused $150 million in damages.


After making landfall in Georgia, Isabel weakened to a Tropical Storm, then a Tropical Depression. Other then causing flash Floods and severe thunder storms, nothing happened damage or death wise.

Tornado Outbreak


Map of all known tornadoes.

Isabel also caused tornadoes in the Bahamas, Florida, and Georgia. On September 10, an EF3 tornado stuck the island of Andros, killing 3 people who got caught outside. Twin tornadoes stuck Orlando, Florida, one was an EF3 tornado and the other was an EF4, both tornadoes killed exactly 4 people. An EF4 tornado touched down in the Florida Keys, killing 1. Other tornadoes occured, too. In all there was 13 EF0's, 8 EF1's, 5 EF2's, 4 EF1's, and 2 EF4,s.


Due to the damage Isabel caused, in the spring of 2004, it was retired and replaced with "Ida" for the 2009 naming list.