Skip to main content

Main Area

Main

Costliest US weather disasters of the last 40 years

  • #50. Southern Plains flooding (2019)

    - Cost: $6.3 billion
    - Deaths: 4
    - Begin date: March 15, 2019
    - End date: July 31, 2019

    States across the Southern Plains experienced heavy flooding in the Great Flood of 2019. These floods impacted agriculture, bridges, roads, and other infrastructure in towns and cities. The states most affected were Oklahoma, Nebraska, Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas, Mississippi, and Louisiana. The 12 months that ended in May 2019 were the wettest period on record in the United States, with nearly 38 inches of rainfall.

  • #49. Northern Plains drought (1989)

    - Cost: $6.4 billion
    - Deaths: 0
    - Begin date: June 1, 1989
    - End date: Nov. 30, 1989

    In 1989, a severe summer drought over much of the northern plains caused significant agricultural losses. The overall cost was $6.4 billion, and the impact stretched across multiple states including Colorado, Iowa, Montana, Nevada, and Texas.

  • #48. California freeze (1990)

    - Cost: $6.9 billion
    - Deaths: 0
    - Begin date: Dec. 18, 1990
    - End date: Dec. 25, 1990

    Severe freezing temperatures in the Central and Southern San Joaquin Valley killed a large portion of California's citrus crop along with its avocados, strawberries, carrots, lettuce, and other vegetables. This freeze caused citrus prices to go up, as California produced 26% of the nation's orange crop in 1990.

  • #47. Western/Central drought/heat wave (2003)

    - Cost: $7.1 billion
    - Deaths: 35
    - Begin date: March 1, 2003
    - End date: Nov. 30, 2003

    From March 2003 through November 2003, drought across the central and western United States caused significant agricultural losses in states such as Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, New Mexico, and Wisconsin. The overall cost was $7.1 billion, and 35 people died as a result of the drought and heat wave.

  • #46. Hurricane Gustav (2008)

    - Cost: $7.4 billion
    - Deaths: 53
    - Begin date: Aug. 31, 2008
    - End date: Sept. 3, 2008

    On Sept. 1, 2008, Category 2 Hurricane Gustav made landfall in southeast Louisiana, causing heavy rains for the following two days. Rainfalls of 5 to 7 inches were recorded across parts of southern Mississippi, northwest Florida, and coastal Alabama, with 6 to 9 inches in Mobile County, Alabama. The hurricane cost $7.4 billion and killed 53 people.

    You may also like: Fastest-warming cities in the U.S.

  • #45. Western/Central/Southeast drought/heat wave (2000)

    - Cost: $7.6 billion
    - Deaths: 140
    - Begin date: March 1, 2000
    - End date: Nov. 30, 2000

    From March 2000 through November 2000, many parts of the United States experienced drought, with especially-intense periods during the summer between June and August. By August, 35% of the lower 48 states were experiencing severe to extreme drought. The drought cost $7.6 billion and caused the deaths of 140 people.

  • #44. Southeast drought (1983)

    - Cost: $7.8 billion
    - Deaths: 0
    - Begin date: June 1, 1983
    - End date: Aug. 31, 1983

    A drought during the summer of 1983 caused agricultural losses, specifically corn and soybean crops. The drought impacted southeastern states such as Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Virginia, and cost $7.8 billion.

  • #43. Hurricane Isabel (2003)

    - Cost: $7.8 billion
    - Deaths: 55
    - Begin date: Sept. 18, 2003
    - End date: Sept. 19, 2003

    Hurricane Isabel was a Category 2 hurricane. It was one of the most damaging storms to impact the Mid-Atlantic states since 1972. It hit states like Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, and New York, along with Washington, D.C. In the U.S. capital, Isabel caused severe flooding, tree damage, and power losses.

  • #42. Midwest/Plains/Southeast drought (2006)

    - Cost: $7.8 billion
    - Deaths: 0
    - Begin date: March 1, 2006
    - End date: Aug. 31, 2006

    2006 began as a drier than average year from the Great Plains to the Southwest, along with the coastal Southeast. In the Great Plains region specifically, crops were especially impacted during the spring and summer in states such as North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Texas, and Oklahoma. The percentage of areas in the United States (not including Hawaii and Alaska) experiencing drought was 20% in January but had risen to 52% by that July.

  • #41. Hurricane Alicia (1983)

    - Cost: $7.9 billion
    - Deaths: 21
    - Begin date: Aug. 17, 1983
    - End date: Aug. 20, 1983

    Hurricane Alicia was a Category 3 hurricane that made landfall near Galveston, Texas, with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph. It was the first hurricane to hit the United States mainland since Hurricane Allen in 1980. It was the costliest storm to have ever hit Texas at the time, and due to its level of destruction, the name Alicia was retired. It cost $7.9 billion and killed 21 people.

    You may also like: States with the most severe summer weather

2018 All rights reserved.