Officials say hurricanes and wildfires helped make 2017 the most expensive year on record for disasters.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says last year’s 16 weather and climate disasters caused $306 billion in combined damage.
It counted hurricanes like Harvey, which dumped historic amounts of rain in Houston and the surrounding area; wildfires in California; and tornadoes in the Midwest. NOAA says each disaster exceeded $1 billion in damage.
A researcher for NOAA told CNN that climate change is “amplifying the frequency and intensity of certain types of extreme weather that lead to billion-dollar disasters.”
The previous record was almost $215 billion in 2005, due in large part to major hurricanes like Katrina and Wilma.