Billion Dollar Weather Disasters of 2011 Break Record

December 13, 2011; 6:30 AM ET
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In a Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011 file photo, a sign reading "make an offer" hangs from a tree near items from a home damaged during floods caused by Hurricane Irene, in Pompton Lakes, N.J. after the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee dumped more rain across the Northeast, closing major highways and socking areas still recovering from Hurricane Irene. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

There have been 12 weather disasters in 2011 that have caused more than $1 billion in damages. This makes 2011 the record holder for the most billion dollar disasters in a year, surpassing the nine that occurred in 2008.

It total, the weather disasters of 2011 have caused more than $52 billion in damages and killed 646 people, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The year is not yet over.

The 12 weather events that exceed $1 billion in damages in 2011 are:

Central/East Groundhog Day Blizzard (Jan. 29-Feb. 3). This storm killed 36 people and caused more than $2 billion in damages.

Midwest/Southeast tornadoes (April 4-5). Nine people were killed during the tornadoes. The losses totaled more than $2 billion.

Southeast/Midwest tornadoes (April 8-11). Losses totaled more than $2 billion.

Midwest/Southeast tornadoes (April 14-16). These tornadoes killed 38 people. Property damages exceeds more than $2 billion.

Southeast/Ohio Valley/Midwest tornadoes (April 25-28). The tornadoes killed 327 people and caused more than $9 billion in damage.

Midwest/Southeast tornadoes (May 22-27). Property losses totaled more than $7 billion, and 177 people were killed.

Southern Plains/ Southwest drought, heat waves, wildfires. Direct losses were more than $5 billion.

Mississippi River flooding. The floods were responsible for at least two deaths. The losses were estimated to be $2 to 4 billion.

Upper Midwest flooding. Losses were estimated at $2 billion.

Hurricane Irene. The hurricane killed at least 45 people. Losses were estimated to be $8 billion.

The latest two weather events were reported Wednesday by NOAA. They are:

Texas/New Mexico/Arizona wildfire damage. Damages from the wildfires are in excess of $1 billion.

Midwest/Southeast tornadoes and severe weather (June 18-22). These weather events recently were reported to have caused more than $1 billion in damages.


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