America’s 5 Costliest Natural Disasters Since 1980

by Nate Wooley | November 1, 2012 2:28 pm

[1]Hurricane Sandy is having a profound impact on the northeast and the rest of the country, and some estimates put damages from the storm at roughly $50 billion. But how does that compare to other natural disasters that America has endured in the past? helps answer that with its recent list of the 10 costliest disasters since 1980[2]. Overall, those disasters cost more than 22,000 lives and caused more than half a trillion dollars in damages.

Here’s a look at the five costliest disasters:

  1. Hurricane Katrina[3]: The 2005 hurricane caused more than 1,800 deaths and did more than $145 billion in damages from which New Orleans still has not recovered.
  2. 1988 Drought[4]: The 1988 drought devastated the central and eastern portions of the United States. In all, it cost the U.S. more than $76 billion.
  3. Northridge Earthquake[5]: This 1994 quake in near Los Angeles collapsed buildings and roads, causing $67 billion in damages as well as 60 deaths.
  4. 1980 Drought[6]: Another killer of a dry and hot summer this drought destroyed crops and encouraged fires across the east and mid-west. This drought racked up $54.8 billion in damages.
  5. Hurricane Andrew[7]: 1992 brought Hurricane Andrew to Florida and Louisiana and cost more than $40 billion in damages.

Bankrate’s full list of costly disasters can be viewed here.[8]

More on disasters:

  1. [Image]:
  2. its recent list of the 10 costliest disasters since 1980:
  3. Hurricane Katrina:
  4. 1988 Drought:
  5. Northridge Earthquake:
  6. 1980 Drought:
  7. Hurricane Andrew:
  8. Bankrate’s full list of costly disasters can be viewed here.:
  9. Drought Has Food Prices Set to Spike in 2013:
  10. Bacon Lovers Beware, Shortage Is On the Way:
  11. Forbes: The Worst U.S. Storms of All Time:

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