abc: Federal report says 2017 shattered US damage record for natural disasters

An aerial view of homes that were destroyed by the Tubbs Fire, Oct. 11, 2017 in Santa Rosa, Calif.

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The culmination of hurricanes, earthquakes, fires and several other natural disasters cost 306.2 billion dollars in damage last year. 2017 broke the 2005 record of 214.8 billion in costs during hurricanes Katrina, Dennis, Rita, and Wilma. According to the National Centers for Environmental Information, in 2017 the US experienced a combination of high disaster frequency, disaster cost, and extreme climate events that directly impacted this record high cost. Hurricane Harvey in Texas displaced over 30,000 individuals and destroyed 200,000 homes and businesses costing over 125 billion dollars. In addition to hurricanes, the wildfires of 2017 burned over 9.8 million acres of land costing 18 billion in damages. It is becoming rather clear that climate change is playing an increasing role in the frequent extreme weather events the US is experiencing. To read more about the economic implications of these disasters, click here.

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