Among the many reasons that 2017 seems like it has been the most insane year EVER, is the never-ending list of natural disasters we have experienced. It is almost as if the Earth is actively trying to rid itself of the human-virus.
President Trump and his ilk continue to deny the scientifically proven existence of climate change. They argue that there isn’t enough evidence. One would think that forking over billions in tax revenue to pay for the disasters that scientists predicted would be enough to make the GOP sit up and pay attention.
Maybe they need an itemized “bill” as it were.
In which case, here is a handy guide to the top six most expensive natural disasters in the US from this past year. In total, there were 15 natural disasters in the US that cost in excess of a billion dollars.
6. DROUGHT IN ND, SD, MT ($2.5 billion)
While some places flooded, others didn’t receive nearly enough rain. Such was the case in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana. There was a “flash drought” there which caused billions in damages last summer. Local farmers were among some of the hardest hit as they lost millions in crop damage.
“This is unprecedented,” says Tanja Fransen of the National Weather Service in Glasgow. “This is as dry as it’s been in recorded history and some of our recording stations have 100 years of data. A lot of people try to compare this to previous years, but really, you just can’t.”
5. WILDFIRES IN THE WEST ($2.5 billion)
The droughts listed in number 6 had yet another terrible environmental effect: Fire. Wildfires have burned millions of acres all across the country this past year. Some of the most expensive fires have occurred in the states that were hardest hit by the drought. This series of fires alone destroyed almost 2 million acres.
4. NORTHERN CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES ($9.4 billion)
California has gotten slammed this year. First, it was flooding that cost nearly $1.5 billion, which kept it off this list. However, the fires that raged there later more than made the cut. At a whopping $9.4 billion the fires in Northern California were the largest in the state’s history. Entire neighborhoods burned to the ground, and more than 40 people died.
3. HURRICANE IRMA ($65 billion)
Hurricane Irma touched down in Florida September 10th. It caused massive power outages and flooding. 5.6 million people evacuated ahead of the storm. The storm destroyed many people’s homes.
2. HURRICANE MARIA ($102 billion)
Hurricane Maria takes the number two spot on this list. Arguably, it should sit at number one, but considering the politics involved, they didn’t get nearly as much of the funding as Florida and Texas did. All told, there are still thousands of people without power or potable water. While Trump spent Christmas with his family in Florida, many Puerto Ricans were standing in line waiting to get bottled water from FEMA.
According to an article in Vox, part of the holdup in restoring the power is that they are still in an emergency management scenario, which makes getting to the rebuilding stage exceedingly tricky.
1. HURRICANE HARVEY ($198 billion)
While hurricanes hold the top three spots, Harvey takes the cake as far as damages are concerned. One of the reasons behind this is the inordinate amount of rain Harvey dumped on the area. Indeed, the storm dumped over 27 trillion gallons of rain, literally creating a depression in the earth in the area.
“To say this hurricane season has been historic is an understatement,” FEMA Admininstrator Brock Long told Congress.
The Trump administration doesn’t want anyone talking about climate change. The head of the EPA, Scott Pruitt is a staunch climate change denier who refused to discuss climate change even in the face of these tragedies. One wonders exactly what it will take to make them believe.
Feature Image via Pixabay