List of natural disasters in the United States

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This list of United States natural disasters is a list of notable natural disasters that occurred in the United States after 1816. Due to inflation, the monetary damage estimates are not comparable. Unless otherwise noted, the year given is the year in which the currency's valuation was calculated. References can be found in the associated articles noted.

Year Disaster Death toll Damage cost
US$
Main article Location Notes
2021 Winter storm 176 ≥$195 billion February 13–17, 2021 North American winter storm United States (especially in Texas), Northern Mexico While the storm was widespread across the U.S., Mexico, and parts of Canada, the worst was in Texas, causing the 2021 Texas power crisis, as the energy infrastructure was unprepared for the freezing temperatures. 137 deaths (as of March 25, 2021), including 124 in the United States and 12 in Mexico.[1][2][3][4][5]
2020 Wildfire 46 ≥$19.884 billion 2020 Western United States wildfire season Western United States One of the most destructive wildfire seasons recorded in the Western United States.[6][7]
2020 Wildfire 31 ≥$12.079 billion 2020 California wildfires California The largest and the third-most destructive wildfire season on record in California.[8][7]
2020 Derecho 4 $11 billion August 2020 Midwest derecho Midwestern United States The severe derecho affected the states of Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, Indiana, and Wisconsin. The derecho caused high winds and spawned an outbreak of a couple tornadoes. The derecho also caused the state of Iowa to lose approximately 550,000 acres of corn harvest. The highest winds recorded from the derecho was about 140mph in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.[9]
2020 Hurricane ≥211 killed, 120 missing $7.9 billion Hurricane Eta Colombia, Jamaica, Central America, Cayman Islands, Cuba, The Bahamas, Southeastern United States Long-lived tropical cyclone that made four landfalls. Caused significant amounts of destruction, especially in Central America.[10][6]
2020 Hurricane 8 $3.6 billion Hurricane Zeta Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Central America, Yucatán Peninsula, Gulf Coast of the United States, Southeastern United States, Mid-Atlantic, New England, Ireland, United Kingdom [6][11]
2020 Hurricane 6 $3.086 billion Hurricane Delta Jamaica, Nicaragua, Cayman Islands, Yucatán Peninsula, Gulf Coast of the United States, Southeastern United States, Northeastern United States [6][11]
2020 Hurricane 8 $7.3 billion Hurricane Sally The Bahamas, Cuba, U.S. Gulf Coast, Southeastern United States, Norway Sally did not have its name retired, making it the costliest tropical cyclone on record in the North Atlantic that did not have its name retired.[6][12][13]
2020 Hurricane 77 $19.1 billion Hurricane Laura Lesser Antilles, Greater Antilles, The Bahamas, Gulf Coast of the United States, Midwestern United States, Eastern United States Tied with the 1856 Last Island hurricane as the strongest hurricane to make landfall in the state of Louisiana, in terms of maximum sustained winds.[6][10]
2020 Hurricane 18 $4.725 billion Hurricane Isaias West Africa, Lesser Antilles, Greater Antilles, The Bahamas, East Coast of the United States, Eastern Canada Caused the worst tropical cyclone-spawned tornado outbreak since Hurricane Rita in 2005.[14][6][15] Isaias did not have its name retired following the season, making Isaias the third-costliest Atlantic hurricane that didn't have its name retired.[16][12][13]
2020 Hurricane 9 $1.2 billion Hurricane Hanna Cuba, Hispaniola, Gulf Coast (mainly Texas), Mexico [6]
2019 Tropical storm 7 $5 billion Tropical Storm Imelda Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas The fifth-wettest tropical cyclone recorded in the Contiguous United States.[17] Imelda's name was not retired, making it the second-costliest Atlantic tropical cyclone name on record to not be retired.[12][18][19]
2019 Hurricane 84 killed, 245 missing $5.1 billion Hurricane Dorian Lesser Antilles, Puerto Rico, The Bahamas (especially the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama), Eastern United States (especially Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina), Eastern Canada The costliest tropical cyclone recorded in the Bahamas. The storm stalled over Grand Bahama for a day.[20]
2018 Wildfire 97 ≥$26.347 billion 2018 California wildfires California The deadliest and most destructive wildfire season on record in California.[21][22][23][24][25]
2018 Wildfire 85 $16.5 billion Camp Fire California The worst fire in California history destroyed more than 18,000 structures in Northern California. It was fueled by large dry national forests and was started by electrical transmission lines.
2018 Hurricane 74 $25.5 billion Hurricane Michael Central America, Yucatán Peninsula, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Southeastern United States (especially the Florida Panhandle and Georgia), Eastern United States, Eastern Canada, Iberian Peninsula The third-most intense landfalling tropical cyclone recorded in the United States.[26]
2018 Hurricane 54 $24.23 billion Hurricane Florence West Africa, Cape Verde, Bermuda, East Coast of the United States (especially the Carolinas), Atlantic Canada Wettest tropical cyclone recorded in the Carolinas.[27]
2018 Hurricane 1 >$250 million Hurricane Lane Hawaii Wettest tropical cyclone recorded in Hawaii.[28]
2017 Wildfire 47 ≥$18 billion 2017 California wildfires California The second-most destructive wildfire season on record in California (behind only 2018).[29][30]
2017 Wildfire 0 $15 million Goodwin Fire Arizona Started in the Bradshaw Mountains near Mayer, Arizona. The fire caused the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office and the Mayer Fire Department to close parts of Highway 69 between Mayer and Dewey-Humboldt. 100+ people had to be evacuated from Mayer and other close communities outside of Mayer also had to be evacuated such as Spring Valley and Cordes Lakes. The fire started on June 24, 2017 and it reached 100% containment on July 10.[31] 5 homes were destroyed and 2 others were damaged.[32]
2017 Hurricane 3,059 $91.619 billion Hurricane Maria Florida and Puerto Rico Maria struck Puerto Rico as a high-end Category 4 hurricane, causing catastrophic damage to the US island due to extremely powerful winds and devastating floods. The hurricane also knocked out the entire power grid, triggering a near total island blackout. The lack of aid after the disaster caused a humanitarian crisis, the worst in the US since Hurricane Katrina, which lasted several months and had a dramatic effect on Puerto Rico's population.
2017 Hurricane 134 $77.16 billion Hurricane Irma Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, Puerto Rico Irma ravaged the northern Leeward Islands as an extremely powerful Category 5 hurricane before making landfall in the Florida Keys as a Category 4 hurricane, and in the mainland as a Category 3 hurricane. Irma caused widespread damage in Florida due to high winds and destructive floods. The Florida Keys were hit the hardest, with the vast majority of infrastructure there receiving some degree of damage, and at least 25% receiving major damage. Hurricane Irma also knocked out power to 73% of the state, or 7.7 million homes and businesses.
2017 Hurricane and Flood 107 $125 billion Hurricane Harvey Texas, Louisiana, Alabama Harvey made landfall in Southwestern Texas as a Category 4 hurricane. Most of the damage from Harvey occurred after it had weakened, due to extreme prolonged rains dropping several feet of water that triggered unprecedented floods in a large swath of Southeastern Texas, with the worst of the flooding occurring in Houston.
2017 Winter storm and flood 5 $1.55 billion 2017 California floods California Caused by a series of storms that led to California's wettest rainy season on record, in modern history.[33][34][35]
2016 Wildfire 14 $990 million 2016 Great Smoky Mountains wildfires Tennessee Destroyed nearly 2,000 structures; burned nearly 18,000 acres.
2016 Hurricane 49 $15.090 billion Hurricane Matthew Florida, Georgia, The Carolinas
2016 Flood 13 2016 Louisiana floods Louisiana
2016 Flood 23 2016 West Virginia flood West Virginia
2016 Blizzard 55 ≥$500 million – $3 billion January 2016 United States blizzard Southeast through the Mid-Atlantic to the Northeast Snowfall totals in excess of two feet (61 cm)
2015 Flood 25 $2 billion October 2015 North American storm complex Carolinas Channeled moisture from Hurricane Joaquin into the Mid-Atlantic states. Caused the worst flooding recorded in the Carolinas prior to Hurricane Florence in 2018.[6]
2015 Flood 20 2015 Utah floods Utah
2015 Wildfire 3 $8 billion Okanogan Complex fire Okanogan County, Washington Damage figure includes costs involved in the fighting of the fire.
2015 Flood 46 2015 Texas–Oklahoma floods Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma
2014 Snow storm 24 November 2014 North American winter storm Buffalo, New York, Great Lakes region
2014 Tornado 35 $1 billion April 2014 tornado outbreak Nebraska, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Illinois, Florida, North Carolina
2014 Mudflow 43 2014 Oso mudslide Oso, Washington
2013 / 2014 Cold wave 21 Early 2014 North American cold wave Eastern US
2013 Wildfire 19 Yarnell Hill Fire Yarnell, Arizona
2013 Flood 8 $1.9 billion 2013 Colorado floods Colorado
2013 Tornado 24 $2 billion 2013 Moore tornado Moore, Oklahoma
2013 Blizzard 18 February 2013 nor'easter Eastern US
2012 Wildfire 6 2012 Colorado wildfires Colorado
2012 Hurricane 147 $75 billion Hurricane Sandy Eastern US
2011 Tornado 158 $2.8 billion (2011 USD) 2011 Joplin tornado Joplin, Missouri part of the tornado outbreak sequence of May 21–26, 2011
2011 Tornado 346 $11 billion (2011 USD) 2011 Super Outbreak Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia, Arkansas and Virginia 336 tornadoes
2011 Flood 20 $2–4 billion[36][37] 2011 Mississippi River floods Mississippi River Valley
2010 Blizzard 13 $150 million February 5–6, 2010 North American blizzard 16 states in Eastern US
2010 Flood 20 June 2010 Arkansas floods near Langley, Arkansas Albert Pike Recreational Area
2009 Tsunami 31 2009 Samoa earthquake and tsunami American Samoa and nearby islands 189 total deaths, with 31 in American Samoa.
2008 Tornado 59 $1.2 billion 2008 Super Tuesday tornado outbreak Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky, Alabama, and Illinois
2007 Wildfire 14 ≥$2.393 billion October 2007 California wildfires California Large fires burned out of control across southern California, fueled by unusually strong Santa Ana winds; worst around San Diego; caused evacuation of over one million people. Most fires accidental; some suspected arson.[38][39][40]
2006 Snow storm 19 $530 million (2006 USD) Lake Storm "Aphid" Buffalo, New York
2005 Hurricane 1,836 $125 billion (2005 USD) Hurricane Katrina Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama
2005 Hurricane 120 $10 billion (2005 USD) Hurricane Rita Louisiana, Texas
2005 Tornado 25 $92 million Evansville Tornado of November 2005 Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio 7 tornadoes
2004 Hurricane 124 $19 billion (2005 USD) Hurricane Ivan Texas, Florida, East Coast
2004 Hurricane 49 $9 billion Hurricane Frances Florida
2004 Hurricane 10 $15 billion Hurricane Charley Florida
2003 Wildfire 15 $1.331 billion Cedar Fire California The largest and most destructive wildfire recorded in the modern history of San Diego County.[38][41]
2002 Hurricane 41 $5.5 billion Tropical Storm Allison Texas, Louisiana, Pennsylvania
1999 Heat wave 271 Midwest and Northeast
1999 Tornado 48 $1.5 billion (2005 USD) 1999 Oklahoma tornado outbreak Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, Tennessee 74 tornadoes
1998 / 1999 Landslide 0 $70 million Aldercrest-Banyon landslide Kelso, Washington
1998 Blizzard 30 $5 million North American ice storm of 1998 Canada and Northeast
1997 Flood 0 $2 billion 1997 Red River flood North Dakota, Minnesota, Southern Manitoba
1996 Flood 8 $500 million Willamette Valley flood of 1996 Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California
1995 Heat wave 739 Chicago heat wave of 1995 Chicago, Illinois
1995 Flood 6 $1.36 billion May 8, 1995 Louisiana flood New Orleans, Louisiana, area
1994 Earthquake 57 $23 billion Northridge earthquake Greater Los Angeles area
1993 Blizzard 79–300 $6.6 billion Storm of the Century East Coast of North and Central America
1993 Flood 50 $15 billion Great Flood of 1993 Midwest
1992 Hurricane Iniki 6 $3.1 billion Hurricane Andrew Hawaii
1992 Hurricane 26 $25 billion Hurricane Andrew Florida and Louisiana
1991 Wildfire 25 $1.5 billion Oakland Hills fire San Francisco Bay Area, California
1990 Tornado 29 $160 million 1990 Plainfield tornado Plainfield, Illinois Crest Hill, Illinois
1989 Earthquake 69 $6 billion Loma Prieta earthquake San Francisco Bay Area, California
1989 Hurricane 49 $7 billion (1989 USD) Hurricane Hugo Caribbean and Eastern North America. Damage figure for U.S. only. At least 111 total deaths, with 37 in the continental U.S. and 12 in the U.S. possession of Puerto Rico.
1988 Heat wave and Drought 5,000 – 10,000 $120 billion (2014 USD) 1988-89 North American drought Widespread; 45% of the nation affected Costliest natural disaster in the United States prior to Hurricane Katrina.
1988 Wildfire 2 $240 million Yellowstone fires of 1988 Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 793,880 acres (36% of the park) was burned in the fires started by lightning.
1980 Heat wave 1,700 $20 billion 1980 United States heat wave Central and southern states Official death toll, may have been higher; damage figure not adjusted for inflation.
1980 Volcano 57 $1.1 billion 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens Washington state Damage figure not adjusted for inflation; figure in 2015 dollars is 2,890.
1977 Blizzard 23 $56.25 billion (1977 USD) Great Lakes Blizzard of 1977 New York and Ontario (esp. Buffalo, New York)
1976 Flood 145 Big Thompson Canyon Flood of 1976 Colorado
1974 Tornado 315 1974 Super Outbreak Ontario, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and New York 148 tornadoes
1972 Flood 238 $160 million (1972 USD); $664 million (2002 USD) 1972 Rapid City Flood Rapid City, South Dakota Average rainfall over area of 60 mi² measured at 10-15 inches (380 mm), over 6 hours in middle of night June 9–10, 1972.
1971 Earthquake 65 $500 million Sylmar earthquake Greater Los Angeles area
1970 Tornado 26 $1.412 billion (2008 USD) Lubbock Tornado Lubbock, Texas F5 tornado killed 26 and wounded approximately 500
1969 Hurricane 256 $1.42 billion Hurricane Camille Mississippi, Alabama and Virginia
1965 Tornado 271 Palm Sunday Tornado Outbreak Iowa, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana 78 tornadoes
1964 Tsunami and Earthquake 115 $1.8 billion (2006 USD) Good Friday earthquake Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon, California, British Columbia
1960 Tsunami 61 $500 million (2005 USD) Great Chilean earthquake Hawaii, Alaska 2,290 to 6,600 killed and $3,500 M (2005) in damage worldwide. 61 killed in Hilo, Hawaii. $500 M in U.S. property damage
1957 Tornado 10 $26 million 1957 Fargo tornado Fargo, ND
1953 Tornado 114 Waco, TX
1951 Flood 28 $935 million ($9.21 billion in 2019) Great Flood of 1951 Kansas and Missouri
1950 Blizzard 353 $67 million (1950 USD) Great Appalachian Storm of November 1950 Eastern US States
1946 Tsunami and Earthquake 165 Aleutian Island earthquake Alaska and Hawaii
1940 Blizzard 154 $2 million Armistice Day Blizzard North and Central Midwest Damage total not adjusted for inflation.
1938 Hurricane 600 Great New England Hurricane
1938 Flood 115 Los Angeles Flood of 1938 Los Angeles
1937 Flood 385 $500 thousand Ohio River flood of 1937 Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois
1936 Flood 69 $250 million ($4.66 billion in 2020) Pittsburgh Flood 1936 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, area
1935 Hurricane 423 Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 Florida
1931 to 1939 Drought Unknown $1 million (2017 USD) Dust Bowl Great Plains Compounded by unsustainable agricultural techniques
1928 Hurricane 3,000 $800 million (2005 USD) 1928 Okeechobee Hurricane Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, and Florida 4,078+ believed dead total. About 2,500 died in Florida and 500 in the U.S. possession of Puerto Rico.
1927 Flood 246 $400 million Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee
1926 Tornado 16 La Plata Tornado of 1926 La Plata, Maryland 13 killed in La Plata Elementary School
1925 Tornado 695–727 $16.5 million; $1.4 billion (1997 USD) Tri-State Tornado Missouri, Illinois and Indiana (Kentucky, Tennessee) Lower number for single 3-state tornado; higher for 5-state outbreak
1919 Hurricane 600 1919 Florida Keys Hurricane Florida, Texas
1918 Wildfire 453 $73 million ($1.145 billion in 2015) 1918 Cloquet fire Minnesota Largest disaster in Minnesota history
1913 Flood 428 1913 (Ohio) Statewide Flood Southwest, Central, and Eastern Ohio
1913 Flood 361 Great Dayton Flood Dayton, Ohio Flood was created by a series of three winter storms that hit the region in March, 1913
1913 Blizzard 250 Great Lakes Storm of 1913 Fatalities estimated
1913 Storm 250 $5 million (1913 USD) Great Lakes Storm of 1913 Great Lakes area Financial impact for lost vessels and cargo only
1910 Avalanche 96 Wellington avalanche Wellington, Washington
1906 Earthquake and fire (urban conflagration) 3,000 – 6,000 1906 San Francisco earthquake California Conflagration followed quake; fatalities estimated
1900 Hurricane 6,000 – 12,000 $35.4 million; 1.097 billion (2020 USD) Galveston Hurricane of 1900 Texas Fatalities estimated – remains deadliest natural disaster in North American history.
1896 Tornado 255–400 $10 million ($307 million in 2019) St. Louis-East St. Louis tornado Missouri
1894 Wildfire 418 $73 million Great Hinckley Fire Minnesota Actual death toll likely higher than official death toll of 418.
1893 Hurricane 2,000 1893 Cheniere Caminada Hurricane Louisiana Fatalities estimated
1893 Hurricane 1,000 – 2,000 1893 Sea Islands Hurricane Georgia, South Carolina Fatalities estimated
1889 Flood 2,209 $17 million ($425 million in 2012) Johnstown Flood Johnstown, Pennsylvania A dam failure caused 20 million tons of water to be unleashed, devastating Johnstown, PA and the surrounding area.
1888 Blizzard 400 Great Blizzard of 1888 Northeast Fatalities estimated
1888 Cold wave Unknown 1888 Northwest Cold Wave Northwest
1871 Wildfire 1,500 – 2,500 Peshtigo fire Wisconsin Deadliest firestorm in United States history
1862 Flood >5,000 $100 million (1862 USD); $262.2 billion (2020 USD) Great Flood of 1862 California, Oregon, Utah, and the territories that now make up Arizona and Nevada An atmospheric river led to 43 continuous days of rain, lasting from December 1861 until January 1862. When it was over, much of California's Central Valley was covered with inland seas that remained for months; the state's government had to move to San Francisco as Sacramento was under 10 feet of water. California nearly went bankrupt due to the costs of the damages and the loss of tax revenues from so many farms and mines; it is considered to be the worst disaster in the state's history.[42]
1816 Famine (caused by volcano) Unknown Year Without a Summer Volcanic dust from a massive eruption by Mount Tambora in the Dutch East Indies (present Indonesia) in 1815 led to an abnormally cold summer in 1816 in the northeastern United States and eastern Canada. Cold weather inhibited crops, and frosts and snowstorms killed what did grow, leading to a localized famine.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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