Few states unscathed by weather’s wrath in 2017, $306 billion in losses

The U.S. endured an atmospheric thrashing in 2017, experiencing its third warmest year on record, $306 billion in losses and 362 deaths from a glut of weather-related disasters that spread misery coast to coast.

An annual climate and weather summary released Monday by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration tallied the monetary damages done by 16 catastrophic weather events this past year to a new high that shattered the previous record of $215 billion set in 2005.

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For Florida, 2017’s disaster scorecard includes Category 4 Hurricane Irma, a March freeze, and a January tornado outbreak that sent one twister tearing through Palm Beach Gardens and Juno Beach with winds up to 110 mph.

Few states escaped 2017 unscathed by weather’s wrath, but 14 bore the brunt with each suffering at least $1 billion in damages from a range of weather calamities including wildfires, tropical cyclones, floods and crop-killing drought.

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Hurricanes Katia, Irma and Jose all spun simultaneously in September 2017.

The report shows 362 people were killed during weather-related events, including 251 in tropical cyclones. Researchers said they would update the death toll as more information is released, including from Puerto Rico where death statistics from Maria are in question.

“It was a historic year for billion-dollar climate and weather disasters,” said Adam Smith, an economist with NOAA’s National Center for Environmental Information. “The nation is weather- and climate-conscious for good reason as each geographical region faces a set of unique hazards.”

Irma caused estimated losses of…Read the full story of weather destruction in 2017, climate change and why you should care at MyPalmBeachPost.com. 

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Not much was left of the homes in the Seabreeze Mobile Home Park in Islamorada Tuesday afternoon, September 12, 2017. The storm surge from Hurricane Irma passed over the area and and devastated almost all of the homes. (Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post)

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