WMBF Investigates: SC’s billion-dollar disasters

WMBF Investigates: SC’s billion-dollar disasters

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Estimates for just how costly Hurricane Harvey will be for the states of Texas and Louisiana will take time to put together, but the United States has already seen nine events that topped a $1 billion price tag in 2017. The state of South Carolina has experienced three billion-dollar disaster events this year according to the National Centers for Environmental Information.

The NCEI is part of NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

South Carolina's peak for billion-dollar events is five in 2011. There were four in 2015 and 1999.

The three 2017 events include a severe freeze damaging fruit crops across nine Southeastern state, an outbreak of 70 tornadoes across Central and Southern states in February and March and a similar outbreak in January. NCEI says the January event was the third most tornadoes to occur in a winter month since 1950.

Hurricane Matthew is estimated to have cost $10.3 billion. The storm killed 49 people in the United States. NCEI says the most costly impacts were from historic river levels in North Carolina, where 100,000 structures were damaged.

Matthew was the costliest event to have any impact in South Carolina since 2011, when NCEI says a drought and heat wave tallied up a $13.3 billion bill across the United States.

The flooding of October 2015 is the only billion-dollar event to exclusively list South Carolina as an impacted state, out of 57 overall events to include the state. NCEI says it cost $2.1 billion.

Other events topping $10 billion to directly or indirectly affect the Palmetto State include Hurricane Frances in 2004, Hurricane Charley in 2004, Hurricane Hugo in 1989 and a drought and heat wave in 1980.

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