NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) in consultation with the National Hurricane Center (NHC) has updated the listing of costliest tropical cyclones to strike the United States mainland. The updated listing accounts for inflation to 2017 dollars.
For all United States hurricanes, Katrina (2005) is the costliest storm on record. Hurricane Harvey (2017) ranks second, Hurricane Maria (2017) ranks third, Hurricane Sandy (2012) ranks fourth and Hurricane Irma (2017) ranks fifth. Hurricane Maria is the costliest hurricane on record to strike Puerto Rico and the U.S Virgin Islands. The 2017 Atlantic Hurricane season bumped Sandy out of the top 3; that storm produced more than $70billion in damages in New Jersey and the New York City metro area during its 2012 landfall.
The NCEI data set provides more loss information than previous damage figures used by NHC, including agriculture, individual payouts, and disaster money from the federal government to the respective states. In performing these disaster cost assessments, NCEI examined statistics from a wide variety of sources. Using the latest scientific methodology, it determined the estimated total costs of these events – that is, the costs in terms of dollars that would not have been incurred had the event not taken place. Insured and uninsured losses are included in damage estimates. Sources include the National Weather Service, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Interagency Fire Center, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, individual state emergency management agencies, state and regional climate centers, media reports, and insurance industry estimates.