In 2017, the United States experienced an extreme amount of natural disasters. In fact, Fortune reported that the number of total meteorological disasters was unprecedented.
Now, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released the cost of the various natural disasters. Between hurricanes, floods, fires, and other weather-related damages, the total damage was $306.2 billion.
The total expense from natural disasters far surpasses the previous record of $215 billion (CPI adjusted). That cost was a result of Hurricane Katrina and three other significant storms that took place in 2005.
The majority of the cost in 2017 was a result of the three major hurricanes. Hurricane Harvey alone cost around $125 billion. Hurricane Irma costs around $50 billion. Lastly, Hurricane Maria cost around $90 billion.
After hurricanes, wildfires amounted to the next highest cost. Fortune reported that the California wildfires caused damage to over 9.8 million acres and 15,000 homes and businesses. The total expense for the damages was $18 billion, three times higher than any wildfire had ever been.
The NOAA noted the historically high number of disasters that took place in 2017.
They said, "The years 2017 and 2016 each had a historically high number of billion-dollar disasters that impacted the U.S. (16 and 15 events, respectively). However, in 2017, the U.S. experienced a rare combination of high disaster frequency, disaster cost, and diversity of weather and climate extreme events."
While the cost was extremely high, the saddest aspect of the natural disasters was the innocent lives that were lost as a result. Multiple families are still mourning the loss of loved ones. Additionally, California is still experiencing dangerous effects in the aftermath of the wildfires.
Please continue praying for everyone who was affected by the natural disasters that took place in 2017. Share your prayers here! In other recent news, a beloved sports figure is mourning the loss of another child. Please be praying for his family during this difficult time.