Today in History: Remembering Hurricane Jeanne

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A bus filled with Haitian people after Hurricane Jeanne devastates the area

On this day in 2004, Hurricane Jeanne crashed into Haiti. The deadliest storm of the devastating 2004 season, Hurricane Jeanne is responsible for over 3,035 deaths.

The storm originated near Africa but didn't generate any attention until it was upgraded to Tropical Storm Jeanne on Sept. 14. The storm grew in intensity as it made a loop around the Atlantic Ocean, becoming a fully-functioning Category 2 hurricane on Sept. 20 and reached Haiti three days later.

The most severe impact wasn't due to the storm's winds but the sheer volume of rainfall it produced. The amount of rain caused extreme flooding, which in turn led to costly damages in the areas it struck.

In Puerto Rico, 24 inches of rainfall in Vieques caused $1.6 million worth of repairs, but only claimed eight lives.

Although only 13 inches of rain fell over Haiti's northern mountains, the rainfall caused catastrophic mudslides. The mudslides took the lives of 3,000 Haitians, the majority of which were in the coastal city of Gonaïves. People drowned when the cities were flooded by the torrential rains and overtook the cities.

Many of the dead were left unburied for days afterwards. Emergency relief workers had to quickly build mass graves to prevent the spread of disease. Jeanne also left an estimated 250,000 Haitians without homes.

Widespread looting occurred in the cities in the wake of the storm as citizens left homeless became increasingly desperate. Along with emergency rations of food and water, the United Nations sent peacekeeping units from neighboring countries to help restore order to the country.

After striking Haiti, Jeanne continued on her path of destruction through the Bahamas, where residents were able to evacuate and avoid disaster. Hurricane Jeanne ended her reign in Florida, where residents were much more prepared for the storm after a series of intense hurricanes during the 2004 season and only three people died. Jeanne was the fourth hurricane to slam the panhandle state after Charley, Frances and Ivan had already wreaked havoc there.

See more photos of Hurricane Jeanne's devastation in Haiti below:

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Hurricane Jeanne
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Today in History: Remembering Hurricane Jeanne
GONAIVES, HAITI: A Haitian man rings the water out of a jacket he had just washed as he stands in front of a destroyed house, in the north-eastern town of Gonaives, Haiti 24 September 2004 some six days after floods inundated the city and its surroundings. While rescuers in northern Haiti found more bodies, authorities said the official death toll had risen to 1,160, with another 1,250 missing, most of them feared dead. Thousands of homes were destroyed and about a quarter of a million people are estimated to have been affected by the September 18 flooding spawned by Jeanne, which was then a tropical storm but has now strengthened into a hurricane that threatens Florida.AFP PHOTO Roberto Schmidt (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
Haitians struggle to get their hands on food handouts given in the back of an aid truck in the north-eastern town of Gonaives, Haiti 24 September 2004 some six days after floods inundated the city and its surroundings. While rescuers in northern Haiti found more bodies, authorities said the official death toll had risen to 1,160, with another 1,250 missing, most of them feared dead. Thousands of homes were destroyed and about a quarter of a million people are estimated to have been affected by the September 18 flooding spawned by Jeanne, which was then a tropical storm but has now strengthened into a hurricane that threatens Florida. AFP PHOTO Roberto Schmidt (Photo credit should read THONY BELIZAIRE/AFP/Getty Images)
A driver from the UN World Food Program truck stands on the roof of the cabin of his truck in the middle of a flooded road near the north-eastern town of Gonaives, Haiti 24 September 2004, some six days after floods inundated the city and its surroundings. The convoy was heading south when they encountered a traffic jam. T While rescuers in northern Haiti found more bodies, authorities said the official death toll had risen to 1,160, with another 1,250 missing, most of them feared dead. Thousands of homes were destroyed and about a quarter of a million people are estimated to have been affected by the September 18 flooding spawned by Jeanne, which was then a tropical storm but has now strengthened into a hurricane that threatens Florida. AFP PHOTO Roberto Schmidt (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
A bus filled with Haitian people makes its way south in a flooded road near the north-eastern town of Gonaives, Haiti 24 September 2004, some six days after floods inundated the city and its surroundings. While rescuers in northern Haiti found more bodies, authorities said the official death toll had risen to 1,160, with another 1,250 missing, most of them feared dead. Thousands of homes were destroyed and about a quarter of a million people are estimated to have been affected by the September 18 flooding spawned by Jeanne, which was then a tropical storm but has now strengthened into a hurricane that threatens Florida. AFP PHOTO Roberto Schmidt (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
A Haitian woman covers her nose as she walks by the body of a flood victim in the north-eastern town of Gonaives, Haiti 24 September 2004 some six days after floods inundated the city and its surroundings. The floods were caused by heavy rains after tropical storm Jeanne swept through the northern region of the country. While rescuers in northern Haiti found more bodies, authorities said the official death toll had risen to 1,160, with another 1,250 missing, most of them feared dead. Thousands of homes were destroyed and about a quarter of a million people are estimated to have been affected by the September 18 flooding spawned by Jeanne, which was then a tropical storm but has now strengthened into a hurricane that threatens Florida. AFP PHOTO Roberto Schmidt (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
BOYNTON BEACH, UNITED STATES: Cars drive north on Interstate highway 95 after the first bands of Hurricane Jeanne come ashore 25 September, 2004, in Boynton Beach, Florida. Residents along Florida's east coast braced themselves yet again as strengthening Jeanne threatened to be the fourth major storm to hit the state in six weeks. A million people have been ordered to evacuate as the storm approached the northwestern Bahamas with winds of 185kph (115 mph), threatening to batter areas still recovering from Hurricane Frances earlier this month with heavy rain, floods and damaging waves. AFP PHOTO/Robert SULLIVAN (Photo credit should read ROBERT SULLIVAN/AFP/Getty Images)
WEST PALM BEACH, UNITED STATES: Palm Beach County sheriffs patrol on the beach after a mandatory evacuation order was issued as the first bands of Hurricane Jeanne come ashore 25 September 2004, in West Palm Beach, Florida. Residents along Florida's east coast braced themselves yet again as strengthening Jeanne threatened to be the fourth major storm to hit the state in six weeks. A million people have been ordered to evacuate as the storm approached the northwestern Bahamas with winds of 185kph (115 mph), threatening to batter areas still recovering from Hurricane Frances earlier this month with heavy rain, floods and damaging waves. AFP PHOTO/Robert SULLIVAN (Photo credit should read ROBERT SULLIVAN/AFP/Getty Images)
JUPITER, UNITED STATES: Waves slam over a seawall on the beach in Jupiter, Florida, as the first bands of Hurricane Jeanne come ashore 25 September, 2004. Residents along Florida's east coast braced themselves yet again as strengthening Jeanne threatened to be the fourth major storm to hit the state in six weeks. A million people have been ordered to evacuate as the storm approached the northwestern Bahamas with winds of 185kph (115 mph), threatening to batter areas still recovering from Hurricane Frances earlier this month with heavy rain, floods and damaging waves. AFP PHOTO/Robert SULLIVAN (Photo credit should read ROBERT SULLIVAN/AFP/Getty Images)
JUPITER, UNITED STATES: Michael Peritz, 12, comes off the beach in Jupiter, Florida, as the first bands of Hurricane Jeanne come ashore 25 September, 2004. Residents along Florida's east coast braced themselves yet again as strengthening Jeanne threatened to be the fourth major storm to hit the state in six weeks. A million people have been ordered to evacuate as the storm approached the northwestern Bahamas with winds of 185kph (115 mph), threatening to batter areas still recovering from Hurricane Frances earlier this month with heavy rain, floods and damaging waves. AFP PHOTO/Robert SULLIVAN (Photo credit should read ROBERT SULLIVAN/AFP/Getty Images)
FT. PIERCE, UNITED STATES: Dennis Price(R) cleans up part of a dock that was washed away in Ft. Pierce, Florida as a result of Hurricane Jeanne 26 September, 2004. Jeanne battered southeastern Florida for hours Sunday, tearing off roofs and felling trees and power lines after slamming ashore at the same spot Frances did three weeks ago. The fourth hurricane to pummel the southeastern state in six weeks, Jeanne knocked out power to over a million people along the Atlantic coast. Numerous telephone outages also were reported. AFP PHOTO / Robert SULLIVAN (Photo credit should read ROBERT SULLIVAN/AFP/Getty Images)
FT. PIERCE, UNITED STATES: Huge waves caused by Hurricane Jeanne batter a sea wall in front of a water front home on the inter costal waterway in Ft. Pierce, Florida 26 September, 2004. Hurricane Jeanne battered southeastern Florida for hours Sunday, tearing off roofs and felling trees and power lines after slamming ashore at the same spot Frances did three weeks ago. The fourth hurricane to pummel the southeastern state in six weeks, Jeanne knocked out power to over a million people along the Atlantic coast. Numerous telephone outages also were reported. AFP PHOTO/ Robert SULLIVAN (Photo credit should read ROBERT SULLIVAN/AFP/Getty Images)
FT. PIERCE, UNITED STATES: Debris left by Hurricane Jeanne litters the yard of a water front home on the inter costal waterway in Ft. Pierce, Florida 26 September 2004. Hurricane Jeanne battered southeastern Florida for hours Sunday, tearing off roofs and felling trees and power lines after slamming ashore at the same spot Frances did three weeks ago. The fourth hurricane to pummel the southeastern state in six weeks, Jeanne knocked out power to over a million people along the Atlantic coast. Numerous telephone outages also were reported. AFP PHOTO /Robert SULLIVAN (Photo credit should read ROBERT SULLIVAN/AFP/Getty Images)
FT. PIERCE, UNITED STATES: A message on a boarded up house in preparation for Hurricane Jeanne shows a bit of a sense of humor in Ft. Pierce, Florida 26 September, 2004. Hurricane Jeanne battered southeastern Florida for hours Sunday, tearing off roofs and felling trees and power lines after slamming ashore at the same spot Frances did three weeks ago. The fourth hurricane to pummel the southeastern state in six weeks, Jeanne knocked out power to over a million people along the Atlantic coast. Numerous telephone outages also were reported. AFP PHOTO/ Robert SULLIVAN (Photo credit should read ROBERT SULLIVAN/AFP/Getty Images)
VERO BEACH, UNITED STATES: Debris from a mobile home destroyed by Hurricane Jeannee is scattered about the Lakewood Villas community in Vero Beach, Florida 26 September 2004. Hurricane Jeanne battered southeastern Florida for hours Sunday, tearing off roofs and felling trees and power lines after slamming ashore at the same spot Frances did three weeks ago. The fourth hurricane to pummel the southeastern state in six weeks, Jeanne knocked out power to over a million people along the Atlantic coast. Numerous telephone outages also were reported. AFP PHOTO / Robert SULLIVAN (Photo credit should read ROBERT SULLIVAN/AFP/Getty Images)
SEBASTIAN, FL - SEPTEMBER 26: Mary Young looks at the damage to her father-in-law's home after the trailer was blown apart by winds from Hurricane Jeanne September 26, 2004 in Sebastian, Florida. Hurricane Jeanne continues to move away from the area. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
VERO BEACH, UNITED STATES: Debris from a mobile home park damaged by Hurricane Jeannee is scattered about the Lakewood Villas community in Vero Beach, Florida 26 September 2004. Hurricane Jeanne battered southeastern Florida for hours Sunday, tearing off roofs and felling trees and power lines after slamming ashore at the same spot Frances did three weeks ago. The fourth hurricane to pummel the southeastern state in six weeks, Jeanne knocked out power to over a million people along the Atlantic coast. Numerous telephone outages also were reported. AFP PHOTO / Robert SULLIVAN (Photo credit should read ROBERT SULLIVAN/AFP/Getty Images)
VERO BEACH, UNITED STATES: Debris from a mobile home destroyed by Hurricane Jeanne is seen in the Lakewood Villas mobile home community in Vero Beach, Florida 26 September 2004. Hurricane Jeanne battered southeastern Florida for hours Sunday, tearing off roofs and felling trees and power lines after slamming ashore at the same spot Frances did three weeks ago. The fourth hurricane to pummel the southeastern state in six weeks, Jeanne knocked out power to over a million people along the Atlantic coast. Numerous telephone outages also were reported. AFP PHOTO / Robert SULLIVAN (Photo credit should read ROBERT SULLIVAN/AFP/Getty Images)
SEBASTIAN, FL - SEPTEMBER 26: A sailboat rests on the shore after it was blown onto land by winds from Hurricane Jeanne September 26, 2004 in Sebastian, Florida. Hurricane Jeanne continues to move away from the area. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
SEBASTIAN, FL - SEPTEMBER 26: A television and furniture lie on the ground after a trailer home was blown apart by winds from Hurricane Jeanne September 26, 2004 in Sebastian, Florida. Hurricane Jeanne continues to move away from the area. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
VERO BEACH, UNITED STATES: Debris from mobile homes damaged by Hurricane Jeanne is strewn about in Vero Beach, Florida 26 September 2004. Hurricane Jeanne battered southeastern Florida for hours Sunday, tearing off roofs and felling trees and power lines after slamming ashore at the same spot Frances did three weeks ago. The fourth hurricane to pummel the southeastern state in six weeks, Jeanne knocked out power to over a million people along the Atlantic coast. Numerous telephone outages also were reported. AFP PHOTO / Robert SULLIVAN (Photo credit should read ROBERT SULLIVAN/AFP/Getty Images)
VERO BEACH, UNITED STATES: An semi tractor-trailer rests on its side after overturning in the high winds from Hurricane Jeanne on Interstate 95 near Ft, Pierce, Florida 26 September 2004. Hurricane Jeanne battered southeastern Florida for hours Sunday, tearing off roofs and felling trees and power lines after slamming ashore at the same spot Frances did three weeks ago. The fourth hurricane to pummel the southeastern state in six weeks, Jeanne knocked out power to over a million people along the Atlantic coast. Numerous telephone outages also were reported. AFP PHOTO / Robert SULLIVAN (Photo credit should read ROBERT SULLIVAN/AFP/Getty Images)
SEBASTIAN, FL - SEPTEMBER 26: A guest of Penwood Lodge walks through the debris after the hotel he was staying in was damaged by winds from Hurricane Jeanne September 26, 2004 in Sebastian, Florida. Hurricane Jeanne continues to move away from the area. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
SEBASTIAN, FL - SEPTEMBER 26: Jeremy Bailey surveys what used to be the office of Penwood Lodge after the hotel he was staying in was damaged by winds from Hurricane Jeanne September 26, 2004 in Sebastian, Florida. Bailey stated that he was staying at the hotel because he is a roofing contractor helping put homes together after hurricane Frances. Hurricane Jeanne continues to move away from the area. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
VERO BEACH, FL - SEPTEMBER 26: Chris Martin (L) and Zigmund York walk through a flooded street caused by passing Hurricane Jeanne September 26, 2004 in Vero Beach, Florida. Hurricane Jeanne continues to move away from the area. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
SEBASTIAN, FL - SEPTEMBER 26: Constance Kenney surveys what is left of her father's bedroom after the home was blown apart by winds caused by Hurricane Jeanne September 26, 2004 in Sebastian, Florida. Jeanne, which has been downgraded to a tropical storm, moved across the state of Florida after making landfall the night before. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
VERO BEACH, UNITED STATES: Mike 'Dusty' Rhoades(R) looks a semi truck that was blown over in high winds from Hurricane Jeanne at a TA Travel Center in Vero Beach, Florida 26 September, 2004. Jeanne battered Florida Sunday, smashing homes, tearing off roofs, flooding streets and leaving one million people without electricity. The fourth hurricane to pummel Florida in six weeks, Jeanne made landfall at the same spot where Charley had slammed into its southeastern coast earlier this month. It then headed inland, prompting authorities to issue a hurricane warning for areas of western Florida along the Gulf of Mexico. When it slammed ashore, it was a powerful category three hurricane packing winds of 193 kilometers (120 miles) per hour, with higher gusts. AFP PHOTO / Robert SULLIVAN (Photo credit should read ROBERT SULLIVAN/AFP/Getty Images)
VERO BEACH, FL - SEPTEMBER 26: Levi Taylor rescues cats from the home of an elderly neighbor after a tree fell on the home due to high winds from Hurricane Jeanne September 26, 2004 in Vero Beach, Florida. Levi stated that she does not know where her elderly neighbor is and that she wanted to help by taking in her cats and dogs. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
FORT PIERCE, FL - SEPTEMBER 26: A dead bird lies on the ground infront of a boat damaged by Hurricane Jeanne after it made landfall September 26, 2004 in Fort Pierce, Florida. Jeanne, which has been downgraded to a tropical storm, moved across the state of Florida after making landfall the night before. (Photo byJoshua Rodas/Getty Images)
RIVERA BEACH, FL - SEPTEMBER 26: A sailboat rests on the shore after it was blown onto land by winds from Hurricane Jeanne September 26, 2004 at Phil Foster Park in Palm Beach, Florida. Jeanne came ashore between Stuart and Fort Pierce, Florida at about midnight. Jeanne is the fourth storm to hit the Florida in last 6 weeks.(Photo by G. De Cardenas/Getty Images)
RIVERA BEACH, FL - SEPTEMBER 26: Debris from mobile homes damaged by Hurricane Jeanne is strewn about September 26, 2004 in Rivera Beach, Florida. Jeanne battered southeastern Florida Sunday, tearing off roofs and felling trees and power lines after slamming ashore at the same spot Frances did three weeks ago. The fourth hurricane to pummel the southeastern state in six weeks, Jeanne knocked out power to over a million people along the Atlantic coast. Numerous telephone outages also were reported. (Photo by G. De Cardenas/Getty Images)
RIVERA BEACH, FL - SEPTEMBER 26: Debris from mobile homes damaged by Hurricane Jeanne is strewn about September 26, 2004 in Rivera Beach, Florida. Jeanne battered southeastern Florida Sunday, tearing off roofs and felling trees and power lines after slamming ashore at the same spot Frances did three weeks ago. The fourth hurricane to pummel the southeastern state in six weeks, Jeanne knocked out power to over a million people along the Atlantic coast. Numerous telephone outages also were reported.(Photo by G. De Cardenas/Getty Images)
SEBASTIAN, FL - SEPTEMBER 26: Casey Bunch stands in a hotel room where he saved a man who was hiding under the mattress as the hotel room around him was torn apart by winds from Hurricane Jeanne September 26, 2004 in Sebastian, Florida. Casey is a roofing contractor and was staying at the hotel as he worked on houses torn apart by previous hurricanes. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
FORT PIERCE, FL - SEPTEMBER 26: Debris sits at a mobile home park after Hurricane Jeanne made landfall September 26, 2004 in Fort Pierce, Florida. Jeanne, which has been downgraded to a tropical storm, moved across the state of Florida after making landfall the night before. (Photo by Joshua Rodas/Getty Images)
SEBASTIAN, FL - SEPTEMBER 27: A home is seen without a roof after Hurricane Jeanne blew through September 27, 2004 in Sebastian, Florida. Jeanne left millions of people without power as it made it's way across the state. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
VERO BEACH, FL - SEPTEMBER 27: Destroyed homes are seen after hurricane Jeanne blew through September 27, 2004 in Vero Beach, Florida. Jeanne left millions of people without power as it made it's way across the state. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
SEBASTIAN, FL - SEPTEMBER 27: A destroyed home is seen after hurricane Jeanne blew through September 27, 2004 near Sebastian, Florida. Jeanne left millions of people without power as it made it's way across the state. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
FORT PIERCE, FL - SEPTEMBER 27: Boats lay near a damaged wharf after hurricane Jeanne passed through September 27, 2004 in Fort Pierce, Florida. Jeanne left millions of people without power as it made it's way across the state. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
VERO BEACH, FL - SEPTEMBER 27: Aguedo Gamez surveys damage to his mobile home, which was destroyed by Hurricane Jeanne, September 27, 2004 in Vero Beach, Florida. Gamez is now staying with a friend as he awaits FEMA aid, and hopes to rebuild on the same lot. (Photo by Joshua Rodas/Getty Images)
SEBASTIAN, FL - SEPTEMBER 27: A boat is washed up near a roadway after hurricane Jeanne blew through September 27, 2004 near Sebastian, Florida. Jeanne left millions of people without power as it made it's way across the state. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
FORT PIERCE, FL - SEPTEMBER 28: Power lines are shown slighly toppled after Hurricane Jeanne slammed into the area knocking out power to most homes September 28, 2004 in Fort Pierce, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
FORT PIERCE, FL - SEPTEMBER 28: Mitch Alliston cleans up a hotel room after hurricane Jeanne tore through the area causing damage to the hotel September 28, 2004 in Fort Pierce, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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