Extreme weather caused $165 billion in damage last year, NOAA says

Extreme weather caused $165 billion in damage last year, NOAA says

After hurricanes, droughts caused an estimated $22.2 billion in damage.

After hurricanes, droughts caused an estimated $22.2 billion in damage.

Photo: GIORGIO VIERA / Getty Images

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the United States experienced 18 extreme weather events last year, each causing at least $1 billion in damage, according to a report released Tuesday.

According to the calculation, weather and climate disasters across the country resulted in more than $165 billion in damage in 2022, making it the third most expensive year on record, NOAA officials said.

The new figures highlight the enormous economic and social cost of droughts, forest fires, hurricanes, severe storms and other extreme events that are expected to intensify due to climate change.

Major disasters last year included three hurricanes, spring tornado outbreaks in the South and Southeast, wildfires in the western US, widespread drought, summer flooding in Kentucky and Missouri, and a series of severe storms. in all the country.

Three storms resulted in at least $1 billion in damage: Hurricane Fiona, Hurricane Ian, and Hurricane Nicole.

Hurricane Ian, which struck southwestern Florida in late September and caused widespread destruction, caused nearly $113 billion in damage, according to the report. This made it the third costliest US hurricane on record, behind Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

In early September, Hurricane Fiona devastated parts of Puerto Rico after heavy rains caused severe flooding on the island. Hurricane Nicole, a late-season storm, became the first hurricane to hit the US in November in nearly 40 years. The hurricane made landfall along the east coast of Florida, knocking out power and inundating coastal communities.

Drought remained a big problem last year, fueling cascading impacts like wildfires, crop failures and heat waves across the western US, according to NOAA. The report estimated that last year was one of the costliest droughts on record, causing an estimated $22.2 billion in damage.

In calculating damage, NOAA researchers used data from insurance and property claims services, state agencies, the US Army Corps of Engineers, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. AND

The report covered direct losses to insured and uninsured assets, such as damage to residential, commercial, and government buildings; loss of content inside buildings; damage to public infrastructure; agricultural losses and lost operating time for businesses.

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