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Readers Respond: The Pace of Disaster

Expectations call for an increase of expensive weather disasters.

BY HBSDealer Staff

The National Centers for Environmental Information reported that the United States experienced 11 weather and climate disaster events that each crossed the $1 billion-in losses mark.

These 11 events include Hurricane Florence (Sept. 13); Southwest/Southern Plains Drought; the Colorado Hail Storm (June) and the Northeast Winter Storm (March). Not counted toward the total is the California wildfires that are raging currently.

During 2018 so far, the U.S. has experienced the fourth highest total number of these type of disasters. There have been only three years that saw more billion-dollar-damage events – 2011, 2016 and 2017. These were described by the agency as “very active years.” They could also be described as very expensive. The U.S. spent a record $306.2 billion to clean up 16 major weather events in 2017.

[Read about the West Coast Lumber and Building Material Association effort to provide aid to fire victims here.]

So, what’s the future look like? Are we living in an age where major natural disasters are the new normal owing to global warming? Or are we simply seeing a statistical anomaly in the form of natural disasters.

Most readers expect an increased frequency of expensive weather.

After more than 100 votes, here is the breakdown to the question: “Do you expect the number of billion-dollar natural disasters to increase or decrease in 2019?”

• Increase, 81%.
• Decrease, 21%.

You can still take the poll on the right side of the page (or scroll down your mobile device.)

As always, readers’ comments are welcome: send them to us here.

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Do you expect the number of billion-dollar natural disasters to increase or decrease in 2019?