Every year there are thousands of natural disasters across the United States. They can be as simple as a low-magnitude earthquake in a remote location or as severe as a dramatic flood that sweeps through entire populations.
These disasters can be very costly too. In fact, Hurricane Isaac this year, has already cost $2 billion in damages according to Reuters.
Below, we’ve listed the 10 most expensive natural disasters in the U.S. Take a look, you might be surprised which disasters rank the highest.
Hurricane Ivan was one of four costly hurricanes that hit the United States during 2004. The hurricane was one of the most intense ever recorded and produced at least 119 tornadoes across the eastern U.S.
Cost: $17 billionYou can stay up-to-date with breaking hurricane news via The ReadyHurricane Center.
2004 was a bad year for hurricanes and Hurricane Charley was the second of the year after Hurricane Ivan. The storm hit landfall in southwestern Florida at maximum strength and caused billions of dollars of damages.
Cost: $18 billion
No, we didn’t forget the number eight. Hurricane Rita and Hurricane Wilma tied for the 7th costliest natural disaster. The two storms both hit in 2005 however, they both faded into memory with other hurricanes that hit that year. Hurricane Wilma became the first Category 5 hurricane of 2005 – blowing at 185 mph at its peak. When the hurricane fell to land however, it had dropped to 150 mph.
Cost of each: $19 billionLearn how to prepare for windstorms at The ReadyWindstorm Center.
Hurricane Ike – which hit in 2008 – was the biggest hurricane since 2005 for the U.S. It struck Cuba as a category 4, went out to sea and made landfall again. A week later, the storm hit Galveston, Texas.
Cost: $29 billion
The National Weather Service named this event “The Great USA Flood of 1993.” The flood was unusual because of its crests. The flooding was also interesting due to the number of days with measurable rainfall. Some areas had rainfall for 20 out of 25 days! The rains and flood waters destroyed homes, crops and businesses. In fact, the flooding covered 15 million acres of farmland.
Cost: $33 billionCheck out current flood conditions in your area with The ReadyFlood Center.
Hurricane Andrew struck in 1992 off the southern Florida coast. It caught a lot of Americans off guard. The storm weakened a little after hitting the Bahamas but still fell as a category 5 storm when it hit Florida. More than 100,000 homes in souther Miami were flattened, damaged or destroyed. The storm then strengthened and his Morgan City, Louisiana.
Cost: $44 billion
A large heat wave hit when a high-pressure ridge settled over the Central U.S. Record temperatures were reached over and over again. The high temperatures caused a drought and many extreme weather affects. In fact, the extreme temperatures caused a phenomenon called derechos – a fast-moving, straight-lined wind storm. One derecho killed six people and injured 70. The storm also took at least 1,700 lives.
Cost: $56 billion (in current dollars)
The U.S. Drought of 1988 was one of the worst drought in the nation’s history. The heat wave killed at least 4,800 people dna started some of the worst wildfires in U.S. history. The drought also caused the worst dust storms since the 1930s Dust Bowl.
Cost: $100 billion (in current dollars)Monitor current drought conditions at The ReadyDrought Center.
Hurricane Katrina was the most expensive natural disaster in history. In 2005, the hurricane formed across the Atlantic and fell many times along the Bahamas, Florida and Louisiana. At least 1,833 people died in the hurricane and flooding. Much of the damage was caused because of storm surges that caused the levee systems to fail.
Cost: $146 billion
The Great Flood of 1927
There were many natural disasters that we’re not able to track their cost. The Great Flood of 1927 flooded the Mississippi and spilled into 10 states, toppling 146 levees. The storm continued to rain after the flooding and much of Memphis was underwater for days. However, due to the lack of some records, we don’t really know how much the flood cost us as a nation.
Our current drought is one of the largest natural disasters in U.S. history. In fact, it’s officially the largest declared natural disaster by the government. The drought has affected much of the farming community and is sure to create inflation – especially corn prices. Time will tell how much this current drought will cost us.
You can always be ready for any extreme weather by visiting The ReadyWeather Center. You can always find it in our Ready Resources section located in the bright green bar at the top of this page.