The US is on pace to exceed 2020’s record number of billion-dollar disasters.
According to a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report released Friday, 2021 has already seen 18 weather and climate disasters, each with losses topping $1 billion.
The events include the West’s historic megadrought, two floods, nine severe storms, four tropical cyclones and a major wildfire.
The disasters resulted in the deaths of 538 people and had significant economic effects in the impacted areas, costing an estimated $104.8 billion in damages, according to forecaster AccuWeather.
NOAA started tracking billion-dollar disasters in 1980, a decade after its founding. Last year, there were 22 such disasters – the most on record.
The mayhem in 2020 cost the country nearly $100 billion, according to NOAA.
There have been 308 billion-dollar disasters in the U.S. since 1980 with