Sunday, August 30, 2015

Hurricanes: The $50 billion price tag

New figures: Hurricanes cost taxpayers over $50 billion in the last five years.

Hurricanes: The $50 billion price tag

0 comments

When a major hurricane hits the United States, the U.S. Treasury also takes a hit. When it comes to disaster expenses, nothing -- not even 9/11 or the Northridge Earthquake -- rivals the costs of hurricanes.

Fresh figures from the Federal Emergency Management Agency this morning underscore the dominance of the hurricane.

For the last five fiscal years -- Oct. 1, 2004, through Sept. 30, 2009 -- the agency has committed $60.9 billion to in disaster money. Of that, $50.1 billion has been the result of hurricanes. That's 82 percent, and it doesn't include tropical storms or storm remnants, just hurricanes.

That figure has a lot do with Katrina and the incredible 2005 season, and quiet seasons can make all the difference in shelling out disaster money.

For 2007, for example, FEMA didn't have to spend a dime on hurricanes, and the total annual disaster bill was a mere $2.5 billion.

For the tranquil 2009 season, FEMA has committed a mere $13.3 million for hurricanes, and $2.3 billion overall.

If this season doesn't turn out to be another costly one, a lot of hurricane experts are going to end up being wrong.

 

Inquirer Weather Columnist
0 comments
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy:

Philly.com comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by Philly.com staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
 
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog

Everyone talks about the weather, and here we write about it.

When we’re around and conditions warrant, we’ll keep you updated about what’s coming, but we will do our best always to discuss weather and climate developments in context and remind you that nothing in the atmosphere happens in a vacuum.

Tony Wood has been writing about the atmosphere for The Inquirer for 26 years.

Reach Tony at twood@phillynews.com.

Tony Wood Inquirer Weather Columnist
Also on Philly.com
letter icon Newsletter