Gene Blevins | Reuters
Firefighters battle to save one of many homes burning in an early-morning Creek Fire that broke out in the Kagel Canyon area in the San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles, in Sylmar, California, U.S., December 5, 2017.
Natural disasters cost the country $91 billion in 2018, according to a new report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The report’s findings are a sign that the changing climate and increasing numbers of extreme weather events are having a significant economic impact, even as the Trump administration continues to undo Obama-era climate regulations.
The economic losses in 2018 were due to 14 different natural disasters, ranging from hurricanes to wildfires to winter storms. Eighty percent, or $73 billion, of the total loss was attributable to just three events: Hurricane Michael in Florida, Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas, and wildfires in the West, including California.
According to the report, 2018 had the fourth-highest total costs from natural disasters since NOAA started tracking this data in 1980. It also marked the eighth consecutive year with eight or more natural disasters that cost at least $1 billion each.
Last year set a new record for wildfire costs, with $24 billion in losses caused by several fires throughout the summer and fall. November’s Camp Fire burned over 150,000 acres in northern California alone, destroying homes and businesses.