Natural disasters cost United States a record $306 billion previous year

US Natural Disasters In 2017 Were Expensive AF

Hurricanes, wildfires made 2017 the most costly US disaster year on record

Natural disasters including wildfires and hurricanes caused $306 billion in damage in 2017, making it the costliest year on record.

Including all weather-related losses, damage from last year's storms totaled $306 billion, a US record.

Sixteen of these disasters caused over $1 billion in damage.

At least 362 people died and many more were injured during the disasters that included one freeze, one drought that affected multiple areas, one wildfire that affected multiple areas, two floods, three major hurricanes (Harvey, Irma and Maria) and eight severe storms.

"Hurricane Maria now ranks as the third costliest weather and climate disaster on record for the nation and Irma ranks as the fifth costliest", said the report.

Officials say hurricanes and wildfires helped make 2017 the most expensive year on record for disasters. Hurricane Maria, which decimated Puerto Rico, came in second at $90 billion followed by Irma at $50 billion.

NOAA said the number of billion-dollar disasters-16-tied with 2011 for the most in a single year.

US Natural Disasters In 2017 Were Expensive AF

NOAA also announced that a year ago was the third-warmest on record in the US, behind only 2016 and 2012, with temperatures about 2.6 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th-century average. Five states had their warmest year on record.

According to those figures, 2017 was the warmest year on record without the influence of the El Niño weather phenomenon. The 1980-2017 annual average is 5.8 events (CPI-adjusted); the annual average for the most recent 5 years (2013-2017) is 11.6 events (CPI-adjusted).

The West Coast wildfires caused damages worth $18 billion dollars.

Almost half of that damage was caused by Hurricane Harvey, which battered Texas' shores and left Houston underwater. Data from damage due to Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was still pouring in several months after the storm.

The total sum shattered the previous record spend set in 2005, when Hurricane Katrina and a series of other devastating storms cost $214 billion in damages. This past hurricane season resulted in a record high $265 billion in losses, and Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria all ranked in the top five most expensive U.S. tropical cyclones based on preliminary estimates.

"First and foremost, we must do more to prepare and protect communities ahead of time by investing in risk reduction and disaster preparedness, and by ensuring that our federal, state, and local policies are guided by the best available science". Annual temperatures in another 32 states, including Alaska, ranked among the 10 warmest years on record.

"We are still going to see blue blobs on the map, but when they average out with the pinks and red that we see over the course of the year, we end up seeing a pretty warm year".

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