Weather disasters cost $110 billion in 2012

Story highlights

  • There were 11 major disaster events last year
  • Each one cost more than $1 billion in damages
  • Superstorm Sandy and the yearlong drought were the costliest

From Superstorm Sandy and last year's drought to tornadoes, wildfires and a hurricane, the weather and climate disasters of 2012 caused more than $110 billion in damages, making it one of the costliest years on record for weather events, national climate data show.

There were 11 disaster events last year, each one causing more than $1 billion in damages, the National Climatic Data Center said. Since 1980, only 2005 had a higher damage total at $160 billion, according to the center, which is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The two most expensive disasters were Sandy, which caused about $65 billion in losses, and the yearlong drought, which cost about $30 billion, the center said. The drought, which affected more than half the country for most of 2012, also led to several wildfires and a fatal heatwave, the center said.

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Among the other major disasters of 2012 were tornadoes in the Southeast, Ohio Valley, Texas and the Midwest, along with Hurricane Isaac and severe storms across the country.

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