U. S. nears yearly record for cost­ly­weather dis­as­ters

Richmond Times-Dispatch Weekend - - NATION & WORLD -

Howl­ing winds, deadly floods, fire and ice so far this year have pushed the U.S. into a tie for weather dis­as­ters that topped $1 bil­lion in dam­age.

There have been 15 costly dis­as­ters through Septem­ber, ty­ing 2011 for the most bil­lion­dol­lar weather dis­as­ters for the first nine months of a year.

The record for a year is 16 — set in 2005, the year of Hur­ri­cane Ka­t­rina and other deadly storms — and the hur­ri­cane sea­son is not over yet.

The Na­tional Oceanic and At­mo­spheric Ad­min­is­tra­tion re­leased the fig­ures Fri­day that in­clude three hur­ri­canes, three tor­nado out­breaks, four se­vere storms, two floods, a drought, a freeze and wild­fires.

NOAA hasn’t cal­cu­lated the costs from hur­ri­canes Har­vey, Irma and Maria, but an out­side dis­as­ter risk com­pany es­ti­mates the U.S. dam­age from the three hur­ri­canes to be around $150 bil­lion. The re­main­ing dis­as­ters so far this year have cost more than $21.7 bil­lion and killed 282 peo­ple, ac­cord­ing to NOAA.

Dam­age fig­ures are ad­justed for in­fla­tion; records for bil­lion-dol­lar dis­as­ters go back to 1980.

— The Associated Press

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