A database was established for the period 1970–99 to assess the threat to life in the contiguous United States and adjacent coastal waters from Atlantic tropical cyclones. Freshwater floods caused more than one-half of the 600 U.S. deaths directly associated with tropical cyclones or their remnants during that 30-year period. More than three-quarters of the victims under age 13 died in rain-induced floods. Most fatalities occurred in inland counties. Storm surge losses were significantly (but perhaps only temporarily) less than in previous periods of comparable length. This paper presents a statistical summary of the casualties, explores reasons for the losses, and reviews efforts to mitigate the threats.

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