CaliforniaDamage from weeks of storms and flooding in California could exceed a billion dollars, according to the state emergency agency and private meteorologists. The numbers come on the heels of 2022 being the worst on record for large-scale weather and climate disasters in the United States, according to data released Tuesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
“It’s likely to cost at least several billion dollars,” said Jonathan Porter, chief meteorologist at AccuWeather. “Unfortunately, it will join the multi-billion dollar disaster club.”
The nation was hit by 18 disasters last year that each caused more than $1 billion in damage. This is the third highest number in 43 years of NOAA record keeping.
Adjusted for inflation, the only other years on record with more billion-dollar disasters are 2020 and 2021.
Topping the list for 2022 is Hurricane Ian, which caused $113 billion in damage, the nation’s third costliest hurricane since 1980 after Hurricanes Katrina and Harvey. The drought and heat wave in the western and central United States was the second worst disaster of 2022, causing $22 billion in damages.
In total, 18 large-scale disasters caused $165 billion in damage last year, according to NOAA, which was more than the annual economic output of West Virginia and Alaska combined.