It has a been a year to remember, or forget when it comes to natural disasters. Hurricane Irene could make 2011 a little harder to forget. To date there have been 10 natural disasters in the United States that have topped the 1 Billion dollar mark in damages. That ties a record and that does not include Hurricane Irene, which still has to be analyzed, but when its all said and done, the record will likely fall. Can you name the ten to hit this year? If you need help… they are listed below:
1. Groundhog Day Blizzard: January 29 – February 3, 2011
This will forever be the iconic blizzard for years to come. 36 people were killed as a result of the storm. Total losses were estimated at $2 dollars. Remember the picture of the cars stranded on lake shore drive in Chicago?
2. Midwest/Southeast tornadoes April 4-5, 2011
This was pretty much the start of it all when it comes to the tornado outbreaks of this past year. Strong cold air pushing south from Canada caught up with warm, humid air across the U.S. Southeast to produce severe weather and tornadoes in Arkansas, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Forty-six tornadoes were confirmed during this event, and nine lives were lost. Insured losses were estimated around $1.6 billion with total losses of $2.3 billion.
3. Southeast/Midwest tornadoes April 8-11, 2011
This one hit closest to home. A Violent EF-4 tornado ripped through the town of Mapleton, IA, just outside of our viewing area. This was part of an outbreak that hit Eastern and Central Wisconsin the next day. Supercells were born in our area and quickly raced toward the east leveling towns. Thankfully, there were no fatalities reported in this event. Total losses were around 2.2 billion dollars.
4. Midwest/Southeast tornadoes April 14-16, 2011:
Approximately 160 tornadoes struck portions of the midwestern and southeastern United States, killing 38 people. Insured losses of $1.4 billion were recorded, with total losses over $2 billion. The most memorable tornadoes hit in North Carolina. Here’s a picture of a Lowes home improvement store that collapsed. This was the biggest tornado outbreak of the year to that point. Little did we know the biggest one in recorded history was 10 days away.
5. Southeast/Ohio Valley/Midwest tornado outbreak aka “Super Outbreak” – April 25-30, 2011
Up until this tornado outbreak, the 1974 “Super Outbreak” Was the benchmark of all tornado outbreaks. This event has been called “Super Outbreak 2″ by some… and rightfully so. 305 confirmed tornadoes and 327 deaths. Losses were over $6.6 billion insured, over $9 billion total. This event broke records some thought would never be broken from the outbreak of ’74. Since the Enhanced Fujita Scale was created back in 2007, there have only been 2 Ef-5 Tornadoes. After the dust settled with this event, there were 6. Below is a radar image from the worst day of the event.
6.Midwest/Southeast tornadoes May 22-27, 2011
One city name and you will instantly be able to call this one. Joplin, Missouri. An EF-5 tornado demolished the city. In its wake , 141 people were killed. Losses were estimated over $7 billion.
7. Southern Plains/Southwest drought, heatwave, and wildfires spring-summer 2011
As a result of a severe drought $5 billion dollars in direct losses to agriculture, cattle and structures.
8. Mississippi River flooding spring-summer 2011
The snow melt from our area and points north from a very snowy winter filled the upper Mississippi and flowed down south. This caused major flooding in the Tennessee river valley and other points in the southern United States. $2-$4 billion dollars in economic losses with two deaths were associated with the floods.
View from above of the flooding in the south from the Mississippi River
9. Upper Midwest flooding summer 2011
This was another event that happened close to home and was in local news because of the proximity to us and because of how severe the flooding was. It is estimated that 11,000 people had to evacuate Minot, North Dakota due to rising waters in the Souris River. Over $2 billion dollars in losses have occurred due to the extreme flooding in these areas.
And again, if we get 10, it will break the record. Could Hurricane Irene be it? We will keep you posted!
Posted under Natural Disaster, severe weather, Uncategorized, weather
This post was written by jkegges on August 28, 2011