Storms Are The Most Devastating Force Of Nature In The U.S.
Tropical Storm Harvey pummeled Houston, with a year’s worth of rainfall within a week. According to officials, the city was paralyzed by the biggest storm in the history of the state of Texas, turning roads into rivers and overstretching rescue services to breaking point. At least five people were reported to have died in the catastrophic flooding while at least 2,000 had to be rescued in Houston and its surroundings. In the first two days, 54 counties across Texas had been declared disaster areas while 3,000 national and state guard members were activated to help the flood victims.
Brock Long, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said that “this disaster is going to be a landmark event,” while the cost is already drawing comparisons with Hurricane Katrina which caused $108 billion of damage in 2005. As can be seen from the following infographic compiled with National Centers For Environmental Information data, tropical cyclones have proven the worst U.S. natural disasters over the past 30 years. Since 1987, they have caused just over 3,000 deaths and wreaked well over $500 billion worth of damage. Severe storms have also had a devastating impact, with 1,400 deaths and a $193 billion cost. Droughts and their resulting heatwaves inflicted a similar toll, killing at least 1,633 people and inflicting $190 billion in damage over the past three decades.