Hurricane Mitch was the second deadliest Atlantic hurricane on record. The storm was the thirteenth tropical storm, ninth hurricane, and third major hurricane of the annual hurricane season. Along with Hurricane Georges, Mitch was the most notable hurricane in the season. At the time, Hurricane Mitch was the strongest Atlantic hurricane observed in the month of October, though it has since been surpassed by Hurricane Wilma of the 2005 season.
Deaths due to catastrophic flooding made it the second deadliest Atlantic hurricane in history after the Great Hurricane of 1780; nearly 11,000 people were killed with over 11,000 left missing by the end of 1998. Additionally, roughly 2.7 million were left homeless as a result of the hurricane. The flooding caused extreme damage, estimated at over $6 billion (1998 USD).