The Real Deal New York

The cost of natural disasters last year? $91B

14 disasters, including wildfires and hurricanes, devastated regions of the country last year
February 09, 2019 04:00PM

From left: Wildfires in California in August 2018; home after Hurricane Florence (Credit: Getty)

Natural disasters caused $91 billion in damage to the United States last year, a federal government study has found.

Amid growing global concern for climate change, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration analyzed the aftermath of 14 natural disasters that occurred during 2018, and found that it was the fourth most costly year on record for such events, as reported by CNBC.

The most devastating events were the California wildfires, Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas and Hurricane Michael in Florida. The three events were responsible for a combined $73 billion of damage.

Across the country, wildfires contributed $24 billion in damages, which constituted a new record for destruction by fire. Following Hurricane Florence, homebuilding in the country’s south dropped 13.7 percent.

President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord in 2017 and has repeatedly mocked science surrounding the phenomenon. After he suggested on Twitter that intense snow storms that afflicted the midwest last week were evidence of climate changing being a conspiracy, the NOAA stated that “not only are severe snowstorms possible in a warming climate, they may even be more likely.” [CNBC] — David Jeans