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Billion Dollar Disasters: Matthew is Unlucky 13

11 Oct 2016, 6:37 am

Since 1980, the U.S. has experienced 200 weather and climate disasters, exceeding $1.1 trillion in overall damages, according to scientists from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI). Before October, the tally in 2016 so far was twelve. These events claimed a total of 68 lives and caused $26.9 billion in damages.  It is likely that Hurricane Matthew, which did damage in at least 4 states and killed dozens of people, will become number thirteen. This is the second highest number of disasters. It also doubles the previous record for the number of inland flooding events in one year. Here’s a break down of each of the weather events and the toll it took on victims:

PHOTO-U.S. Billion-dollar Disasters Icon_Map Jan-Sep-2016-100516-NOAA-780x495-Landscape

Southeastern Tornadoes (February 22-24)

  • Early outbreak of tornadoes and severe weather across many southern and eastern states including (AL,CT,FL,GA,LA,MA,MD,MS,NC,NJ,NY,PA,SC,TX,VA). There were at least 50 confirmed tornadoes causing widespread damage.
  • $1.0 Billion in damage, 10 deaths

Texas and Louisiana Flooding (March 8-12)

  • Multiple days of heavy rainfall averaging 15 to 20 inches led to widespread flooding along the Sabine River basin on the Texas and Louisiana border. This prompted numerous evacuations, high-water rescues and destruction, as more than 1,000 homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed.
  • $1.3 Billion in damage, 5 deaths

Southern Severe Weather (March 17-18)

  • Severe hail impacts the Fort Worth and Arlington metro region in Texas. Additional large hail and high wind damage occurred in other locations of Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi.
  • $1.2 Billion in damage, 1 death

North Texas Hail Storm (March 23-24)

  • Large hail and strong winds caused considerable damage in heavily populated areas of north Texas. This damage was most notable in the cities of Dallas, Fort Worth and Plano.
  • $2.1 Billion in damage, 0 deaths

North/Central Texas Hail Storm (April 10-12)

  • Widespread severe hail damage across north and central Texas including the cities of Plano, Wylie, Frisco, Allen and San Antonio. The damage in San Antonio was particularly severe as the National Weather Service verified reports of hail size reaching 4.5 inches in diameter. This will rank as one of the most costly hail events to affect the United States.
  • $3.5 Billion in damage, 0 deaths

Houston Flooding (April 17-18)

  • A period of extreme rainfall up to 17 inches created widespread urban flooding in Houston and surrounding suburbs. Over 1,000 homes and businesses were damaged in addition to more than 1,800 high water rescues. This represents the most widespread flooding event to affect Houston since Tropical Storm Allison in 2001.
  • $1.2 Billion in damage, 8 deaths

South/Southeast Tornadoes (April 26- May 2)

  • Large outbreak of tornadoes affects numerous states across the South and Southeast. Additional damage also from large hail and straight-line wind during the multi-day thunderstorm event.
  • $1.8 Billion in damage, 6 deaths

Plains Tornadoes and Central Severe Weather (May 8-11)

  • Tornadoes and severe storms cause widespread damage across the Plains and Central states (NE, MO, TX, OK, KS, CO, IL, KY, TN) over a multi-day period. The damage from tornadoes and high wind was most costly in Nebraska and Missouri.
  • $1.6 Billion in damage, 2 deaths

Rockies/Central Tornadoes and Severe Weather (May 21-26)

  • Sustained period of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes affecting several states including Montana, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri and Texas. The most concentrated days for tornado development were on May 22 and 24. Additional damage was created by straight-line high wind and hail damage.
  • $1.1 Billion in damage, 0 deaths

West Virginia Flooding and Ohio Valley Tornadoes (June 22-24)

  • Torrential rainfall caused destructive flooding through many West Virginia towns, damaging thousands of homes and businesses and causing considerable loss of life. Over 1,500 roads and bridges were damaged or destroyed making the impact on infrastructure comparable to the historic 2013 Colorado flood. The storm system also produced numerous tornadoes causing damage across several Ohio Valley states.
  • $1.0 Billion in damage, 23 deaths

Rockies and Northeast Severe Weather (July 28-30)

  • Severe storms across the Rockies and Northeastern states (CO, WY, VA, MD, PA, NJ, NY) caused large hail and high wind damage. Storm damage in Colorado was the most costly due to hail.
  • $1.1 Billion in damage, 0 deaths

Louisiana Flooding (August 12-15)

  • A historic flood devastated a large area of southern Louisiana resulting from 20 to 30 inches of rainfall over several days. Watson, Louisiana received an astounding 31.39 inches of rain from the storm. Two-day rainfall totals in the hardest hit areas have a 0.2% chance of occurring in any given year: a 1 in 500 year event. More than 30,000 people were rescued from the floodwaters that damaged or destroyed over 50,000 homes, 100,000 vehicles and 20,000 businesses. This is the most damaging U.S. flood event since Superstorm Sandy impacted the Northeast in 2012.
  • $10.0 Billion in damage, 13 deaths

Information in this article provided by NOAA and the NCEI.

For WeatherNation, Karissa Klos

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