ORLANDO, Fla. – Hurricane Ian tops the list as the most expensive billion-dollar U.S. disaster to happen in 2022, the third costliest on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
NOAA annually releases the number of billion-dollar events that take place throughout the year and reported 18 separate billion-dollar weather and climate disasters for 2022.
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- 1 winter storm/cold wave event (central and eastern U.S.)
- 1 wildfire event (western U.S., including Alaska)
- 1 drought and heat wave event (western and central U.S.)
- 1 flooding event (in Missouri and Kentucky)
- 2 tornado outbreaks (southern and southeastern U.S.)
- 3 tropical cyclones (Fiona, Ian and Nicole)
- 9 severe weather/hail events (across many parts of the country, including a derecho in the central U.S)
Hurricane Ian officially became the most expensive event of the year with damages totaling $112.9 billion, also making it the third costliest hurricane making landfall in the U.S. on record, behind Katrina in 2005 and Harvey in 2017.
Damages from the 2022 disasters totaled about $165 billion. This surpassed 2021 in total costs, making it the third most expensive year, with inflation adjusted.
The 18 billion-dollar disaster and climate events placed 2022 in third place (tied with 2011 and 2017) for the highest number of disasters in one year, behind 2021 with 20 events and 2022 with a record 22 events.
The rising trend of these expensive disasters and events can be seen when looking at the averages over the last 40 years. The 1980-2022 average is almost 8 events per year, but the average in the last five years is 17.8 events.
Along with catastrophic damage, these 18 billion-dollar disasters also claimed the lives of 474 people in the United States.
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