US breaks record for number of billion-dollar disasters in a given year

Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 10:27 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 13, 2023 at 12:22 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the United States has had 23 separate natural disasters with damages totaling $1 billion dollars in damages and losses through September 11, 2023.

This marks the most billion-dollar disasters in any given year, since 1980. The number could still rise with three-and-a-half months to go.

The previous record number of billion-dollar disasters was 22, set back in 2020.

Two of the disasters impacted the Quad Cities. The tornado outbreak on March 31 and the severe weather and tornadoes on April 4.

March 31, 2023. 145 tornadoes tore through eight states, including Iowa and Illinois.

Locally, 29 tornadoes touched down during that historic weather event, which was one of the billion dollar disasters this year affected eastern Iowa and western Illinois earlier in the year.

Of those tornadoes, 15 had ratings of EF-2 or higher with winds of at least 110 mph.

Damage to homes, businesses, agriculture and other infrastructure totaled an estimated $5.4 billion; the third costliest disaster so far this year behind the Hawaiian wildfires, and severe weather across the southern states.

It was just three of 23 disasters with damages totaling at least $1 billion, so far this year, making this year the most billion dollar disasters on record for any year, right behind 2020 with 22 disasters.

The very large hail in the metro Quad Cities on April 4 was part of a multi-day stretch of severe weather, with damages totaling $2.8 billion.

Hurricane Idalia is the latest billion-dollar disaster. As Florida continues to clean up, the estimated cost is still being calculated.

Since 1980, there have been 371 billion-dollar disasters nationwide.

All disasters are Consumer Price Index (CPI) adjusted every year, to account for inflation.