With three strong hurricanes, wildfires, hail, flooding, tornadoes and drought, the United States tallied a record high bill last year for weather disasters: $306bn, according to a new government report released on Monday.
The US had 16 disasters last year with damage exceeding a billion dollars, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) said. That ties 2011 for the number of billion-dollar disasters, but the total cost blew past the previous record of $215bn in 2005.
Three of the five most expensive hurricanes in US history hit last year. Hurricane Harvey cost $125bn, second only to 2005’s Katrina, while Maria cost $90bn, ranking third, Noaa said. Irma was $50bn, for the fifth most expensive hurricane. Western wildfires fanned by heat racked up $18bn in damage, triple the previous US wildfire record, according to Noaa.
(Comment: How long will it take until there is no more money to rebuild after a disaster? Many individuals and companies have already walked away from damaged properties but when will governments draw the line?)