Timeline of Homeland Security Events and Milestones

2017

Thomas Fire

(Credit: NASA)

December 4, 2017: A quick-moving wildfire began north of Santa Paula, CA south of Thomas Aquinas College, and burns over 280,000+ acres, becoming the largest wildfire in California history.

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2017

Tubbs Fire

(Credit: Phoenix7777/wiki commons)

October 8, 2017: A fast-growing fire broke out near Tubbs Lane in Calistoga, CA and would continue to burn for 23 days, becoming the most destructive wildfire in California history.

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2017

Hurricane Maria

Fallen Ficus Tree Earns Painter's Reward

(Credit: Lee Snyder)

September 19, 2017: The category 4 hurricane “Maria” caused widespread devastation to Puerto Rico’s transportation, agriculture, communication and energy infrastructure.

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2017

Hurricane Irma

(Credit: J.T. BLATTY / FEMA)

September 10, 2017: “Irma” made landfall as a category 4 hurricane at Cudjoe Key, Florida after devastating the U.S. Virgin Islands – St. John and St. Thomas – as a category 5 storm.

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2017

Soda Springs, ID Sequence Earthquakes

(Credit: USGS)

September 2, 2017: following a magnitude 5.3 earthquake east of Soda Springs, Idaho was a sustained and highly active sequence of aftershocks.

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2017

Hurricane Harvey

(Credit: 1st Lt. Allegra Boutch)

August 25, 2017: “Harvey” made landfall as a category 4 hurricane near Rockport, Texas causing widespread damage. Extreme rainfall produced historic flooding across Houston and surrounding areas.

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2016

Western/Southeast Wildfires – Summer/Fall 2016

Widlfire, Great Smoky Mountains - NPS

(Credit: National Park Service)

June-December 2016: Drought conditions contributed to an active wildfire season with over 5.0 million acres burned nationally. A devastating firestorm impacted Gatlinburg, Tennessee when hurricane-force wind gusts in extremely dry conditions created volatile wildfire behavior.

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2015

Western and Alaskan Wildfires – Summer/Fall 2015

Sockeye Wildfire, Alaska 2015

(Credit: CDC)

June-November 2015: Wildfires burned over 10.1 million acres across the U.S. in 2015, surpassing 2006 for the highest annual total of U.S. acreage burned since record-keeping began in 1960.

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2014

South Napa, CA Earthquake

(Credit: Erol Kalkan/ US Geological Survey)

August 24, 2014: A magnitude 6.0 earthquake hit in South Napa, California. It was the largest earthquake to hit the San Francisco Bay Area in 25 years.

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2014

Oso Landslide

Oso Mudslide

(Credit: Jonathan Godt, USGS)

March 22, 2014: Four miles east of Oso, Washington, a massive landslide claimed 43 lives, and destroyed 49 homes and other structures.

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2012

Hurricane Sandy

(Credit: NASA/GSFC/William Putman)

October 22, 2013: “Superstorm Sandy” formed off a tropical wave in the Caribbean Sea. It would end up killing 233 people over the span of eight countries, with 159 deaths in the U.S. alone. Total damages resulting from the storm exceeded $70 billion.

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2012

2012 U.S. Drought/Heatwave

January-December 2012: The 2012 drought is the most extensive drought to affect the U.S. since the 1930s. Moderate to extreme drought conditions affected more than half the country for a majority of 2012.

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2011

Mineral, VA Earthquake

(Credit: USNPS)

August 23, 2011: A magnitude 5.8 earthquake struck near Mineral, Virginia. It was the largest earthquake in the eastern U.S. since 1944.

 

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2011

EF-5 Tornado – Joplin, MO

Destruction from Joplin tornado

(Credit: Jace Anderson/FEMA)

May 22, 2011: An EF-5 tornado devastated the city of Joplin, MO, leaving an estimated 157 people dead. It is the deadliest single tornado since modern record-keeping began in 1950 and is ranked as the 7th deadliest in U.S. history.

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2011

2011 Tornado Super Outbreak

Tornado sweeps across plains

(Credit: Amanda L. Hill, NOAA)

April 25-28, 2011: An outbreak of 362 tornadoes occurred over just four days, surpassing the previous record for all of April by nearly 100, but also accounting for almost half of the confirmed tornadoes during the month. (On This Day: 2011 Tornado Super Outbreak).

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2007

Western Wildfires – Summer 2007

(Credit: NASA)

June-August 2007: Drought conditions and high winds over much of the western U.S. resulted in numerous wildfires. National acreage burned exceeded 8.9 million acres, and over 3,000 homes and structures were destroyed in southern California alone.

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2005

Hurricane Katrina

(Credit: Lt Cdr. Mark Moran, NOAA Corps)

August 25-31, 2005: Hurricane Katrina created a path of destruction across southern Florida, and caused devastation into parts of southeast Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.

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2003

California Fire Siege 2003

(Senior Master Sgt. Dennis W. Goff/USAF)

October 2003: Dry weather, high winds, and resulting wildfires in Southern California burned over 3,700 homes. Over 750,000 acres burned in 14 major fires.

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1993

Midwest Flooding

On August 1st, 2013, the Mississippi River at St. Louis crested at 49.58 feet, the highest stage over recorded.

(Credit: National Weather Service)

July 2, 1993: Persistent heavy rains and thunderstorms caused severe, widespread flooding in the central U.S. This is the most costly non-tropical, inland flood event to affect the United States on record.

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1991

Oakland Firestorm

Ground level photo of Oakland Hills fire.

(Credit: NASA/DART)

October 19-22, 1991: The largest dollar fire loss in United States history occurred in the East Bay Hills, within the California cities of Oakland and Berkeley, in October 1991. Twenty-five lives were lost and more than 3,000 structures were destroyed.
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1990

1990 California Freeze

December 20, 1990-January 3, 1991: Fourteen days of subfreezing temperatures crippled California, particularly within the Central Valley where citrus and other crops suffered damage, and thousands of workers were left jobless.

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1989

Loma Prieta Earthquake

eventOctober 17, 1989: A magnitude 6.9 earthquake occurred northeast of Santa Cruz, CA, approximately 60 miles from San Francisco. It was the largest earthquake to occur on the San Andreas fault since the great San Francisco earthquake in April 1906.

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1988

1988 U.S. Drought/Heatwave

June-August 1988: A drought across a large portion of the U.S. resulted in very severe losses to agriculture and related industries. Combined direct and indirect deaths due to heat stress were estimated at 5,000.

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1980

1980 US Heat Wave

June-September 1980: Beginning in June and stretching until mid-September, the 1980 US Heat Wave was a period of intense heat and drought that plagued the central and eastern United States and caused billions in damage.

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1964

Great Alaska Earthquake

(Credit: U.S. Army)

March 27, 1964: A magnitude 9.2 earthquake struck in the Prince William Sound region of Alaska. It lasted for approximately 4.5 minutes, and is the most powerful earthquake recorded in U.S. history.

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1930

The Dust Bowl

(Credit: George E. Marsh/NOAA)

1930s: Between the years 1930-1940, the Great Plains suffered a severe drought that only further destroyed the already over-farmed and over-grazed land. It would last for nearly a decade, but effects could be felt for years after.

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1928

Okeechobee Hurricane

(Credit: NOAA)

September 17, 1928: A category 4 hurricane tears through Lake Okeechobee area of Florida, piling the water up at the south end of the lake and topping the levee, spreading water several feet deep onto the land below.

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1906

San Francisco Earthquake

(Credit: California Historical Society)

April 18, 1906: A magnitude of 7.9 struck San Francisco, CA. Violent shocks lasted approximately 40-60 seconds and was felt from southern Oregon to the south of Los Angeles and inland as far as Central Nevada.

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1900

Great Galveston Hurricane

(Credit: NOAA)

September 8, 1900: A category 4 hurricane strikes Galveston, TX with winds exceeding 135 miles per hour. The storm devastated the port city and to this day remains the deadliest natural disaster in United States history.

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1871

Peshtigo Fire

(Credit: Ruhrfisch/US Census)

October 8, 1871: A devastating forest fire sweeps through northeast Wisconsin and is considered to be the deadliest fire in American history.

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1868

Hayward Fault Earthquake

(Credit: U.S. Geological Survey)

October 12, 1868: A magnitude of 6.8 struck the region of San Francisco Bay. It lasted for more than 40 seconds and is considered one of the most destructive earthquakes in California’s history.

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1857

Great Fort Tejon Earthquake

(Credit: U.S. Geological Survey)

January 9, 1857: A magnitude 7.9 earthquake struck on the San Andreas Fault from near Parkfield to approximately 300 km away near Wrightwood.

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1811

New Madrid, Missouri Earthquakes

(Credit: USGS)

December 15, 1811: The 1811-1812 New Madrid Sequence consisted of three large earthquakes that spanned from December 15, 1811 to February 7, 1812, followed by hundreds of aftershocks felt throughout the next year.

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