U.S. disasters in first 3 months of 2017 cost record $5B

By Andrew V. Pestano  |  April 10, 2017 at 7:37 AM
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April 10 (UPI) -- The National Centers for Environmental Information said there were five weather disasters from January to March, which cost more than $5 billion, a record for the first quarter of the year.

The NCEI said the severe weather events collectively caused dozens of deaths.

"The number of billion-dollar events for January-March, five, is the largest number of first-quarter events in the 1980-present period of record and doubles the average number of events for January-March over the last 5 years, 2.4 events," the NCEI said in a statement.

In January, a tornado outbreak in the South killed at least 24 people and caused $1.1 billion in damages.

In February, feet of rain fell in California and caused flooding and structural damage, which killed at least five people and caused $1 billion in damage.

From Feb. 28 through March 8, two tornado outbreaks in the Midwest killed at least eight people and caused $2.7 billion in damage.

In March, the cold air from a winter storm in the Northeast in which at least five people died traveled South and killed crops, mainly blueberries in Georgia and peach trees in South Carolina -- causing at least $1 billion in damage.

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