Study: The most destructive hurricanes are hitting US more often

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FILE- In this Oct. 11, 2018 file photo, rescue personnel perform a search in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael in Mexico Beach, Fla. A year after Hurricane Michael, Bay County, Florida, is still in crisis. Thousands are homeless, medical care and housing are at a premium, and domestic violence is increasing. Michael was among the strongest hurricanes ever to make landfall in the United States. This summer, county officials unveiled a blueprint to rebuild. Among their ideas: Use shipping containers and 3-D technology to build new houses and offer signing bonuses to lure new doctors. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

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WASHINGTON (AP) – A new study finds that big, destructive hurricanes are hitting the U.S. three times more frequently than they did a century ago.

Experts generally measure a hurricane’s destruction by adding up how much damage it did to people and cities. That can overlook storms that are powerful, but that hit only sparsely populated areas.

A Danish research team came up with a new measurement that looked at just the how big and strong the hurricane was, not how much money it cost.

Since 1900, hurricanes with the widest area of destruction are happening 3.3 times more frequently. The two biggest, by far, were 2017’s Harvey and 2005’s Katrina.

The study is Monday’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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