Skip Navigation Links weather.gov 
NOAA logo-Select to go to the NOAA homepage
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's   
  Select to go to the NWS homepage
National Weather Service   
 
 
Local forecast by
"City, St"
USA.gov is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.
Flood Damage Data Fatality Data Spring Flood Outlook Loss Reports Flood Safety Info

Hydrologic Information Center - Flood Loss Data

30 Year Flood Loss Averages = $8.2 Billion in damages/year, 89 fatalities/year

Year
Flood Damages (WY)
Adjusted to 2013 Inflation
WY =Water year (e.g. WY 2013 is Oct 1, 2012 through Sep 30, 2013)
Flood Fatalities (CY)
Calendar Year (Jan 1-Dec 31)

The NWS' Role in

Flood Loss Reporting

 

The National Weather Service’s primary mission is to provide weather information for the protection of life and property. Ancillary to this mission, NWS field offices provide loss estimates for significant flood events. No one governmental agency has specific responsibility for collecting and evaluating detailed flood loss information. Therefore, the resulting data are to be considered rough estimates, and may be unrepresentative of actual damages.

Data Acquisition

Flood damages are compiled by National Weather Service Weather Forecast Offices across the United States and its Territories. Each office can obtain data from emergency managers, the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, power utility companies and newspaper articles.   In the event that a direct number cannot be obtained from these sources, the Forecast Office uses a guideline of storm damage estimates to produce their own estimate. These estimates are complied nationally and quality controlled to produce the figures you are viewing.

The NWS continually gathers data from each Weather Forecast Office, and employs a rigorous process to quality control the damage estimates. By March of each year, the annual figures dating back to 1903 are adjusted to inflation using the Construction Cost Index from the McGraw Hill Construction Engineering News-Record (http://enr.construction.com/economics/ - subscription required). Finally, the annual figures are delivered to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who uses these figures to prepare a report to United States Congress.

Explanation of Table

The data represented are for water years, starting in October and ending in September.  For example, Water Year 2009 starts on October 1, 2008, and ends on September 30, 2009. Older years generally contain less accurate information than more recent years.

Each year, the entire set of data (all previous years) are adjusted to inflation using the latest Construction Cost Index (CCI) numbers provided by the “Engineering News-Record”. For example, in 1990 the raw damage amount was $1,636,431,000. To adjust this number to inflation, we take the latest year’s CCI (for water year 2010, that number was 8802), and divide it by the CCI of the year in question (4732 in 1990) to come up with an adjustment factor of 1.86010 for 1990. We then multiply the raw number from that year, by the adjustment factor, to arrive at the adjusted number displayed above.$1,636,431 x (8802/4732) = $3.04 Billion.

Cautions on the Accuracy of these Data

Flood damage estimates are reported in many different ways, and are subject to a wide variety of errors. Estimates come from federal, state, or county level government officials. If these estimations cannot be made, the reporting official from the NWS must make an approximation of the damages, a method which is prone to a high degree of subjectivity and inaccuracy.  Damages are often underreported, and many times the information never makes it to the NWS Forecast Office responsible for reporting these figures. As stated above, the National Weather Service’s primary mission is providing weather information and services to save life and property, not on post-event reporting.

One of the most critical discrepancies of these data occurs with storm surge related flooding caused by tropical cyclones. Coastal flooding caused by storm surge is not counted in the figures presented here. The record season of 2005, with Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, were undoubtedly enormous flooding events. However, the damages and deaths associated with Hurricane Katrina were largely due to storm surge, and not fresh water flooding (associated to rainfall). Therefore, the annual figure of $43B for water year 2005, although much higher than any other year, does not account for most of the flooding produced by Katrina.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2013

$2,152,417,080
82

2012

$515,642,043
29

2011

$8,861,880,649
113

2010

$5,465,668,984
103

2009

$1,070,407,611
56

2008

$6,569,352,174
82

2007

$2,858,648,287
87

2006

$4,612,313,236
76

2005

$53,864,306,063
43

2004

$18,745,995,413
82

2003

$3,540,162,804
86

2002

$1,768,836,561
49

2001

$11,001,413,129
48

2000

$2,054,477,262
38

1999

$8,595,708,180
68

1998

$4,026,769,784
136

1997

$14,306,418,749
118

1996

$10,399,577,678
131

1995

$8,918,494,693
80

1994

$1,977,734,842
91

1993

$29,997,022,163
103

1992

$1,460,800,163
62

1991

$3,354,345,855
61

1990

$3,301,565,249
142

1989

$2,235,868,095
85

1988

$475,972,562
31

1987

$3,129,316,353
70

1986

$13,336,903,376
94

1985

$1,137,902,265
166

1984

$8,635,130,246
126

1983

$9,392,031,481
204

1982

$6,239,869,281
155

1981

$2,700,707,214
84

1980

$4,424,003,707
82

1979

$11,127,039,627
121

1978

$2,407,384,726
125

1977

$4,817,973,602
210

1976

$11,928,779,675
193

1975

$5,927,033,971
127

1974

$2,723,272,298
111

1973

$9,544,445,737
178

1972

$24,317,537,847
555

1971

$1,736,243,627
68

1970

$1,558,580,587
131

1969

$6,790,888,682
445

1968

$2,805,404,548
57

1967

$3,335,387,566
53

1966

$1,096,209,213
56

1965

$7,748,172,154
188

1964

$6,646,609,160
142

1963

$1,885,516,606
41

1962

$823,724,357
53

1961

$1,736,190,143
93

1960

$1,077,235,282
169

1959

$1,692,047,033
25

1958

$2,745,297,082
47

1957

$4,751,122,570
82

1956

$892,451,353
42

1955

$14,399,928,147
302

1954

$1,624,236,583
55

1953

$1,944,469,313
40

1952

$4,262,827,782
54

1951

$18,087,275,004
51

1950

$3,295,586,961
93

1949

$1,879,998,442
48

1948

$4,762,296,254
82

1947

$6,295,194,712
55

1946

$1,953,906,679
28

1945

$5,139,137,701
91

1944

$3,227,428,806
33

1943

$6,575,315,186
107

1942

$3,407,414,236
68

1941

$1,462,541,194
47

1940

$1,596,439,872
60

1939

$559,632,195
83

1938

$4,089,756,805
180

1937

$17,904,890,681
142

1936

$13,094,637,393
142

1935

$6,192,252,393
236

1934

$499,626,333
88

1933

$2,059,849,488
33

1932

$626,027,803
11

1931

$148,110,365
0

1930

$745,418,473
14

1929

$3,140,732,396
89

1928

$2,057,493,802
15

1927

$16,111,999,184
423

1926

$1,077,158,635
16

1925

$457,656,430
36

1924

$753,946,572
27

1923

$2,360,205,771
42

1922

$2,856,418,506
215

1921

$1,353,925,292
143

1920

$942,186,203
42

1919

$152,559,131
2

1918

$397,387,561
0

1917

$1,441,544,254
80

1916

$1,918,506,369
118

1915

$1,450,630,720
49

1914

$1,925,597,719
180

1913

$16,362,316,890
527

1912

$8,139,709,253
2

1911

$797,841,763
0

1910

$2,112,174,302
0

1909

$5,154,750,527
5

1908

$1,008,832,474
11

1907

$1,472,317,545
7

1906

$40,197,895
1

1905

$1,105,442,105
2

1904

$657,738,053
0

1903

$5,337,878,442
178

 

 

 

    US Dept of Commerce
    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
    National Weather Service
    1325 East West Highway
    Silver Spring, MD 20910
    Page Author: NWS Internet Services Team
Disclaimer
Information Quality
Credits
Glossary
Privacy Policy
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
About Us
Career Opportunities
     Page last Modified: 28 April, 2014 4:17 PM