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posted by janrinok on Wednesday January 10 2018, @06:04PM   Printer-friendly
from the you-ain't-seen-nothing-yet dept.

Most expensive year on record for US natural disasters

2017 will be remembered as a year of extremes for the U.S. as floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, drought, fires and freezes claimed hundreds of lives and visited economic hardship upon the nation. Recovery from the ravages of three major Atlantic hurricanes making landfall in the U.S. and an extreme and ongoing wildfire season in the West is expected to continue well into the new year.

The US experienced a record year of losses from fires, hurricanes and other weather related disasters in 2017, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa). Total losses amounted to $306bn the agency said, over $90bn more than the previous record set in 2005.

Last year saw 16 separate events with losses exceeding $1bn, including Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Noaa confirmed that 2017 was the third warmest year on record for the US.

Hurricane Harvey produced major flooding as a result of a storm surge and extreme rain. Nearly 800,000 people needed help. Researchers have already shown that climate change increased the likelihood of the observed rainfall by a factor of at least 3.5. Noaa says the total costs of the Harvey event were $125bn, which is second only to Hurricane Katrina in terms of costs over the 38 years the record has been maintained. Hurricane Irma was a Category 5 storm for the longest period on record. Rain gauges in Nederland, Texas, recorded 1,539mm, the largest ever recorded for a single event in the mainland US. Hurricanes Irma and Maria cost $50bn and $90bn respectively.

Most expensive year on record for US natural disasters

[Also Covered By]: U.S. Spent a Record $306 Billion on Natural Disasters in 2017

2017 most expensive year because of climate change

According to U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, drought, fires and freezes claimed hundreds of lives and visited economic hardship upon the United States in 2017. Price tag? 306 billion USD. The article has a cute little graph of the major (> 1 billion USD) disasters.

Drill baby drill? Business as usual?


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  • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Wednesday January 10 2018, @06:23PM (10 children)

    by fustakrakich (6150) on Wednesday January 10 2018, @06:23PM (#620552) Journal

    But much of the cost is from simple exploitation, corruption, and fraud, and mostly mismanagement of resources and lack of preventative measures (I suppose that is a result of the above mentioned corruption and fraud, turtles all the way down). Seems easier to do now. So many opportunities...

    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Wednesday January 10 2018, @06:54PM (8 children)

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 10 2018, @06:54PM (#620566) Journal

      Yes, lets all trot out the Greed rant, by all means. It helps the discussion enormously, and of course this was never a factor in the glorious past.
      . (snort).

      The whole "worst year ever" is always going to be true as long as there is inflation, and there will always be inflation until there is a major recession.

      So every year destroying and rebuilding the same house would cost more.

      These stories sometimes try to adjust for inflation, but often such as this story, they just gloss over that, as well as the fact that you can't build the same house anymore, and you can't even dispose of the destroyed one in the same way anymore, because building codes and waste management rules constantly get more stringent.

      This story has been run every year since I can remember.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 3, Funny) by realDonaldTrump on Wednesday January 10 2018, @07:15PM (3 children)

        by realDonaldTrump (6614) on Wednesday January 10 2018, @07:15PM (#620577) Homepage Journal

        Every year they said it was the warmest year. But 2017 wasn't the warmest. We stopped that global warming. In less than a year, nobody thought we could do it so fast. And our economy grew TREMENDOUSLY too. Especially our oil & gas industries.

        --
        Sent from my iPhone
        • (Score: 3, Touché) by DeathMonkey on Wednesday January 10 2018, @08:09PM (1 child)

          by DeathMonkey (1380) on Wednesday January 10 2018, @08:09PM (#620602) Journal

          I know it's confusing, Mr. President, but the United States != The Globe.

          2017 was 3rd warmest year on record for U.S. [noaa.gov]

          • (Score: 2) by realDonaldTrump on Thursday January 11 2018, @01:55AM

            by realDonaldTrump (6614) on Thursday January 11 2018, @01:55AM (#620757) Homepage Journal

            Global means it's everywhere. It's not everywhere. I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris. And Pittsburgh is doing great!

            --
            Sent from my iPhone
        • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10 2018, @10:22PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10 2018, @10:22PM (#620678)

          The person (eyes TMB) that keeps modding this flamebait has no sense of humor.

      • (Score: 4, Informative) by NewNic on Wednesday January 10 2018, @07:54PM

        by NewNic (6420) on Wednesday January 10 2018, @07:54PM (#620597) Journal

        .. and of course, it has nothing to do with all the development that has taken place in known floodplains in and around Houston.

        Trump announced more federal dollars will go towards the Federal Flood Insurance program, thus subsidizing development of floodplains. This isn't anything new. We need the political will to stop these insane subsidies.

        --
        lib·er·tar·i·an·ism ˌlibərˈterēənizəm/ noun: Magical thinking that useful idiots mistake for serious political theory
      • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Thursday January 11 2018, @12:22AM (1 child)

        by fustakrakich (6150) on Thursday January 11 2018, @12:22AM (#620733) Journal

        of course this was never a factor in the glorious past.

        Of course it was. What are you talking about? It's common practice rip people off after a disaster. And building codes remain deficient for a reason. Is it not trivial to deduce why that is where cutting corners to save a penny is the prime directive? Sorry if this ruins your day, but quid pro quo is the norm, and it was in the *glorious past* also. If you prefer not to accept that, then don't. But if you want to know the root cause, there it is. Most "disasters" don't have to be one, they are preventable. Hurricanes especially, you board up your windows and stock up on beer and gasoline to keep the home theater powered up, and next time think about maybe burying all those damn wires.

        • (Score: 2) by frojack on Thursday January 11 2018, @02:05AM

          by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 11 2018, @02:05AM (#620761) Journal

          Of course it was.

          Little sarcasm impaired tonight are we fustakrakich ?

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 2) by Bot on Thursday January 11 2018, @01:35AM

        by Bot (3902) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 11 2018, @01:35AM (#620754)

        Corruption is the result of unchallenged control, and increases more than inflation.

        I agree this is derailing the thread. But, the summary talked about expenses. So there are more possibilities than the obvious record expenses => record disasters => too little prevention => THANKS TRUMP => hey but also Obama => yeah but what about Bushes

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10 2018, @10:13PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10 2018, @10:13PM (#620672)

      Or you know, we build more stuff each year, so when a storm comes through, more things get destroyed.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bob_super on Wednesday January 10 2018, @06:31PM (11 children)

    by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday January 10 2018, @06:31PM (#620556)

    Imagine how expensive it would have gotten, if we had actually reacted as if Puerto Ricans were US citizens in dire need.

    • (Score: 0, Troll) by khallow on Wednesday January 10 2018, @06:57PM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 10 2018, @06:57PM (#620567) Journal

      Imagine how expensive it would have gotten, if we had actually reacted as if Puerto Ricans were US citizens in dire need.

      Imagine how much cheaper it'd have been, if Puerto Rico had competent leadership. Notice that the monopoly provider of electricity, PREPA [wikipedia.org] has gone bankrupt as has Puerto Rico [nytimes.com] itself. Why shouldn't we be surprised that their response to disaster has been lackluster?

    • (Score: 2, Troll) by frojack on Wednesday January 10 2018, @07:05PM (5 children)

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 10 2018, @07:05PM (#620570) Journal

      Imagine how much less damage there would have been in Puerto Rico had they adopted Florida or Texas building standards.
      Imagine if the citizens actually paid Federal Income Tax!!

      The US walks softly in PR, not having anywhere near the Federal Facilities that exist elsewhere. Not because of the cost, but because of not wanting to stir up another Cuban Revolution. Normally a US Possession of that size would have a Airforce base and Navy port, but all that exists on the island is small national guard installations.

      Why? Because there have actually been bands of wanna-be revolutionaries in the hills, probably still are, and every vote for statehood has failed.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 5, Informative) by NewNic on Wednesday January 10 2018, @08:01PM (4 children)

        by NewNic (6420) on Wednesday January 10 2018, @08:01PM (#620599) Journal

        and every vote for statehood has failed.

        Please stop lying.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puerto_Rican_status_referendum,_2017 [wikipedia.org]

        97% voted for statehood.

        --
        lib·er·tar·i·an·ism ˌlibərˈterēənizəm/ noun: Magical thinking that useful idiots mistake for serious political theory
        • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10 2018, @08:15PM (3 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10 2018, @08:15PM (#620603)

          97% of the 23% of voters that voted...

          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by NewNic on Wednesday January 10 2018, @09:06PM (2 children)

            by NewNic (6420) on Wednesday January 10 2018, @09:06PM (#620626) Journal

            So what? If you boycott an election, you lose. That's how elections work.

            Only 26% of the electorate voted for Trump.

            --
            lib·er·tar·i·an·ism ˌlibərˈterēənizəm/ noun: Magical thinking that useful idiots mistake for serious political theory
            • (Score: 1, Troll) by frojack on Thursday January 11 2018, @02:38AM (1 child)

              by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 11 2018, @02:38AM (#620773) Journal

              There's a big difference between a 22% turnout, and splitting the vote of 59.3% turnout.
              When the question is should we be a state, not voting is a NO vote. How could it be anything but?
              It failed by more than 75%

              This was NOT a vote that any country could take seriously.

              Further it was not a vote for statehood. That's not how this stuff works. A statehood decision was never on the ballot.
              It was merely a vote to petition congress to start the statehood determination process. (Congress dictates the terms, THEN the people in the territory vote to accept or reject those terms). Then Congress votes to pass the bill.

              Congress has no real incentive to accept this petition. They've simply ignored such petitions in the past, usually for the same reasons.

              If Congress does all the work, writes up a statehood bill, calls for a true plebiscite and THAT gets rejected, its a huge kick in the teeth to Congress and the United States.
              Congress is not going to do that until an affirmative answer is predicted in advance.

              --
              No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
              • (Score: 2) by NewNic on Thursday January 11 2018, @05:27AM

                by NewNic (6420) on Thursday January 11 2018, @05:27AM (#620809) Journal

                OK, let's take another example. about 35% of the eligible voters voted for BREXIT, so, following your logic, the referendum failed, right?

                No, not voting is not the same as voting against. That's not how democracy works.

                It's quite possible that the party that opposed the statehood resolution thought that there was a high chance that the resolution would pass, so they used the tactic of abstaining in an attempt to de-legitimize the vote. I can make the assumption that 50% of the abstainers would vote for the resolution, which would also result in the resolution passing.

                --
                lib·er·tar·i·an·ism ˌlibərˈterēənizəm/ noun: Magical thinking that useful idiots mistake for serious political theory
    • (Score: 2) by linkdude64 on Wednesday January 10 2018, @07:11PM (1 child)

      by linkdude64 (5482) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 10 2018, @07:11PM (#620573)

      "The new agreement will see FEMA cover 90 percent of the costs for rebuilding public infrastructure, up from the typical level of 75 percent. "
      https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-puertorico-trump-exclusive/exclusive-trump-boosts-disaster-aid-for-puerto-rico-rebuild-idUSKBN1D22XE [reuters.com]

      It's never "Great job USA doing 90%! We can do even better!" It's "You irredeemable filth! Just 90%? How dare you! Give them (and me) more money NOW!" and we wonder why the nation is divided. The people who hate the country and never give it ANY credit for doing ANY good EVER are the same people who now claim to stand against anything that goes against (big quotes!) """What America stands for""" Which is it? Is America the greatest Evil in the world, or are we pure Saints of Socialism? "America" can't stand for both things.

      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Thursday January 11 2018, @12:04AM

        by c0lo (156) on Thursday January 11 2018, @12:04AM (#620727)

        America" can't stand for both things.

        Letting aside 'America seems not able to stand for anything full stop', why would America (as an virtual unitary entity) need to stand for any of the two?

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by realDonaldTrump on Wednesday January 10 2018, @07:43PM

      by realDonaldTrump (6614) on Wednesday January 10 2018, @07:43PM (#620593) Homepage Journal

      Let me tell you, Puerto Rico was a mess, it got very VERY MESSY there. A very dire situation. But I acted quickly. I suspended the Jones Act for 10 days -- at great cost to our terrific American shipping industry -- so foreign steamships could bring supplies. And I flew to Puerto Rico myself. I brought the paper towels they so desperately needed. And they cleaned up that terrible mess!

      Benjamin Franklin said something very smart, he said a stitch in time saves 9. Andrew Jackson, our greatest president, he wasn't quick enough to stop the Civil War. Dubya, one of our worst presidents, he was very slow when Hurricane Katrina came. But I was quick. Like Speedy Gonzales. I kept the Puerto Rico situation from getting out of hand. And they're very grateful, not all of them but Governor Ricky and many people there are very grateful. Some are ungrateful, those are foolish people. They should be thanking me. Because they almost got Crooked Hillary. And believe me, she wouldn't lift a finger. You look at what she did in Haiti. She took in hundreds of millions of dollars for a hospital in Haiti that went to the Clinton Foundation, that was never built. That was years ago. Where is that money?

      --
      Sent from my iPhone
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10 2018, @08:57PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10 2018, @08:57PM (#620623)

      People there got more help than seems fair. Other disaster areas don't get that level of help.

      Politicians on the island who praised Trump's response suddenly changed their tune after the DNC sent handlers to discuss things with them. Hmmm.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10 2018, @06:32PM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10 2018, @06:32PM (#620557)

    That's how economy works. Destroy stuff, rebuild stuff, add up to gdp growth. Just like digging ditch and filling it back up.

    • (Score: 2, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10 2018, @06:37PM (4 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10 2018, @06:37PM (#620558)

      Maybe that's how your economy works. Mine invests in R&D and makes better stuff to replace obsolete stuff.

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10 2018, @06:54PM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10 2018, @06:54PM (#620564)

        Does any of that R&D come back with the conclusion to stop building gigantic structures on the coastline?

        • (Score: 5, Funny) by DeathMonkey on Wednesday January 10 2018, @07:32PM

          by DeathMonkey (1380) on Wednesday January 10 2018, @07:32PM (#620587) Journal

          Yes. Stopping it would require regulation, though, and all regulation eats babies.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10 2018, @07:34PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10 2018, @07:34PM (#620588)

          My little bit of automotive R&D (a 4-person company) isn't located anywhere near the coast, or in an active fault zone, or even in a former flood plain. There is a former swamp less than a mile from here--all the basements are cracking--builders were too cheap to add some extra re-bar to stand up to the clay soil swelling and shrinking.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10 2018, @07:43PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10 2018, @07:43PM (#620592)

            Dig a ditch to drain the swamp, and then fill it back up - more gdp.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10 2018, @08:21PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10 2018, @08:21PM (#620605)

    ... so far.
    -Homer

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by arslan on Wednesday January 10 2018, @10:20PM

    by arslan (3462) on Wednesday January 10 2018, @10:20PM (#620674)

    In the old days, in China, this would be taken by the common folks (aka peasants/peons) as an ominous sign that the "Son of Heaven" (aka Emperor) has lost the heavenly mandate to rule and is ripe for a rebellion and some lynching.

    So all ye God-Emperor-Trump haters, quick bring out the yellow turbans!

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by leftover on Thursday January 11 2018, @03:38AM

    by leftover (2448) on Thursday January 11 2018, @03:38AM (#620788)

    Watch for this: insurance companies will report record profits, just as they have done for decades. Then think about it. Think about running our entire national health care tab through insurance companies.

    --
    Bent, folded, spindled, and mutilated.
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