2023’s U.S. weather disasters reach $1B in damages
This year brought a record 23 weather disasters to the U.S., accounting for total damages of $1 billion, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Maui’s August firestorm, which quickly became the deadliest wildfire in recent U.S. history, as well as Hurricane Idalia’s pass left the agricultural industry to deal with excessive rainfall and harsh winds, which complicate harvesting activities and can also impact yields.
Hawaii’s wildfires killed at least 115 people, as per Sept. 11 NOAA’s data.
In late August, the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) reported that Hurricane Idalia damaged crops, pecan trees, agricultural operations and infrastructure, and other GDA-regulated entities across South Georgia.
Related articles: Georgia Department of Agriculture gives update on Hurricane Idalia response and damage assessments
Florida’s citrus sector, which had been recovering from 2022’s Hurricane Ian, was also heavily impacted by this hurricane.
Additionally, Idalia halted the east coast’s port activities, causing closure and restricted operations in the area.
NOAA also notes a Minnesota hailstorm, severe storms in the Northeast and also in Nebraska, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin in late July.
A mid-July hail and storms in Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Tennessee and Georgia, as well as flooding in the Northeast and Pennsylvania and a late June outbreak of severe storms in Missouri, Illinois and Indiana were also among this year’s weather events.
Climate change has been pointed out as the main cause for the uptick in weather disasters.
NOAA’s latest reports have not yet taken into account the effects of Tropical Storm Hilary and a severe drought in California, thus costs of damages could be even greater.