3 Sep 11 – This year, the U.S. has had a record 10 weather catastrophes costing more than a billion dollars: five separate tornado outbreaks, two different major river floods in the Upper Midwest and the Mississippi River, drought in the Southwest, a billion-dollar blizzard that crippled the Midwest and Northeast, and Irene.
How soon we forget. A billion-dollar blizzard!
The East Coast got a double-whammy in one week with a magnitude 5.8 earthquake followed by a drenching from Irene.
“This is ridiculous,” said Jeff Masters, a meteorologist who runs Weather Underground, a meteorology service that tracks strange and extreme weather.“I’m not used to seeing all these extremes all at once in one year.”
The insurance company Munich Re calculated that in the first six months of the year there have been 98 natural disasters in the United States, about double the average of the 1990s. Even before Irene, the Federal Emergency Management Agency was on pace to obliterate the record for declared disasters issued by state, reflecting both the geographic breadth and frequency of America’s problem-plagued year.
And there’s still four months left in the year.