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2023: A historic year of U.S. billion-dollar weather

Events were prior to Oregon’s $48 million damages during an “Iceathon”

Following January’s “Iceathon” winter storm, Governor Tina Kotek requested as much as $48 million in federal major disaster relief for Benton, Clackamas, Coos, Hood River, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Multnomah, Sherman, Tillamook, and Wasco counties, along with the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians. That figure pales in comparison to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric’s 2023 billion-dollar disaster report, which confirms a historic year in the number of costly disasters and extremes throughout much of the country.

Last year, there were 28 weather and climate disasters, surpassing the previous record of 22 in 2020, tallying a price tag of at least $92.9 billion. According to the NOAA‘s Adam Smith, “this total annual cost may rise by several billion when we’ve fully accounted for the costs of the December 16-18 East Coast storm and flooding event that impacted states from Florida to Maine.”

In 2023, the U.S. experienced 28 separate weather and climate disasters, costing at least 1 billion dollars. Smith noted that that number puts 2023 into first place for the highest number of billion-dollar disasters in a calendar year.

2023 was also deadly, causing at least 492 direct or indirect fatalities—the 8th most disaster-related fatalities for the contiguous U.S. since 1980.


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