All Weather News

Billion Dollar Disasters: 2017 Sets New Record

12 Apr 2017, 4:42 am

In 2017 (as of April 6), there have been 5 weather and climate disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each across the United States. That is the quickest the US has racked up that much damage. These events included 1 flooding event, 1 freeze event, and 3 severe storm events. Overall, these events resulted in the deaths of 37 people and had significant economic effects on the areas impacted. Here’s how they break down:

Western Storms and Southern Tornado Outbreak

January 20-22, 2017

High wind damage occurred across southern California near San Diego followed by 79 confirmed tornadoes during an outbreak across many southern states including AL,FL,GA,LA,MS,SC and TX. This was the 3rd most tornadoes to occur in a single outbreak during a winter month (Dec.-Feb.) for records going back to 1950.
Estimated Cost: $1.1 Billion
Fatalities: 24

California Flooding

February 8-22, 2017

Heavy, persistent rainfall across northern and central California created substantial property and infrastructure damage from flooding, landslides and erosion. Notable impacts include severe damage to the Oroville Dam spillway, which caused a multi-day evacuation of 188,000 residents downstream. Excessive rainfall also caused flood damage in the city of San Jose, as Coyote Creek overflowed its banks and inundated neighborhoods forcing 14,000 residents to evacuate.
Estimated Cost: $1.0 Billion
Fatalities: 5

Central/Southeast Tornado Outbreak

February 28 – March 1, 2017

Over 70 tornadoes developed during a widespread outbreak across many central and southern states causing significant damage. There was also widespread straight-line wind and hail damage. This was the second large tornado outbreak to occur early in 2017.
Estimated Cost: $1.2 Billion
Fatalities: 6

Midwest Tornado Outbreak

March 6-8, 2017

Tornado outbreak and wind damage across many Midwestern states (AR,IA,IL,KS,MI,MN,MO,NE,NY,OH,WI). Missouri and Illinois were impacted by numerous tornadoes while Michigan and New York were affected by destructive, straight-line winds following the storm system. Nearly one million customers lost power in Michigan alone due to sustained high winds, which affected several states from Illinois to New York.
Estimated Cost: $1.5 Billion
Fatalities: 2

Southeast Freeze

March 14-16, 2017

Severe freeze heavily damaged fruit crops across several southeastern states (SC,GA,NC,TN,AL,MS,FL,KY,VA). Mid-March freezes are not climatologically unusual in the Southeast, however many crops were blooming 3+ weeks early due to unusually warm temperatures during the preceding weeks. Damage was most severe in Georgia and South Carolina. Crops most impacted include peaches, blueberries, strawberries and apples, among others.
Estimated Cost: $1.0 Billion
Fatalities: 0


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