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The nation’s third-hottest year on record is now officially its costliest for billion-dollar natural disasters.

Sixteen major climate- and weather-related catastrophes caused a record $306.2 billion in damages and killed at least 362 people in 2017 as the United States suffered its worst wildfire and hurricane seasons in modern history, according to a report released Monday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Hurricanes created the most damage, totaling $265 billion as Hurricanes Harvey, Maria and Irma racked up a respective $125 billion, $90 billion and $50 billion. Wildfires caused $18 billion in losses, tripling previous annual records.

The new tally shattered the previous 2005 record of $215 billion, driven mostly by Hurricanes Katrina, Wilma and Rita. Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall over Houston in late August, is second only to Katrina in for record billion-dollar disasters.

“2017 was a historic year for billion-dollar weather and climate disasters,” Adam Smith, an climatologist at NOAA, said on a call with reporters.

2017 Shatters Records With $306 Billion In Damages From Climate-Linked Disasters

Sixteen $1 billion-plus weather- and climate-related events killed at least 362 people.


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