Extreme hurricanes and wildfires made 2017 the most costly U.S. disaster year on record

Chris Mooney and Brady Dennis – January 8, 2018

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria combined with devastating Western wildfires and other natural catastrophes to make 2017 the most expensive year on record for disasters in the United States, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported Monday.

The disasters caused $306 billion in total damage in 2017, with 16 events that caused more than $1 billion in damage each. The bulk of the damage, at $265 billion, came from hurricanes.

“2017 was a historic year for billion-dollar weather and climate disasters,” said Adam Smith, an economist for NOAA, on a call with reporters.

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