Hurricane Sandy, the devastating Superstorm of 2012, will likely go down as one of the costliest natural disasters in U.S. history. Officials are kicking around early estimates for the total cost at $50 - $60 Billion.
The United States is no stranger to billion dollar natural disasters of many kinds. The National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) categorizes natural disasters as: nor'easters, ice storms, blizzards, freezes, fires, nontropical floods, heatwaves/droughts, severe storms, and tropical storms/hurricanes. The table summarizes Natural Disaster costs by disaster type as tabulated by NCDC.
Between 1980 and 2011 there were 133 natural disasters in the U.S. that cost $1 Billion or more. 31 of the 133 events or 23.3% were tropical in nature costing a total of about $417.9 Billion in 2012 dollars.
The most expensive natural disaster in U.S. history was Hurricane Katrina, costing an estimated $146.3 Billion (2012 dollars) while the deadliest was the 1980 Heat Wave/Drought which killed an estimated 10,000 people.
Here are the top 5 costliest natural disasters in 2012 dollars:
Here's a look at the top 10 most expensive weather disasters since 1980.Full Story >
Natural disasters may come in many forms – earthquake, tsunami, hurricane, flood, drought – but the damage they wreak on individual lives and economies can be felt on both large and small scales. Here is a look at the top 10 most expensive weather disasters, since 1980.Full Story >