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Flood Damage Data Fatality Data Spring Flood Outlook Loss Reports Flood Safety Info

Hydrologic Information Center - Flood Loss Data

30 Year Flood Loss Averages = $8.17 Billion in damages, 89 deaths per year

Year

Flood Damages

Adjusted to 2012 Inflation

By Water Year (Previous Oct - Sep)

Flood Fatalities

By Calendar Year

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2012

$495,604,000
29

2011

$8,640,031,956
113

2010

$5,328,841,197
103

2009

$1,043,610,982
56

2008

$6,404,894,735
82

2007

$2,787,084,765
87

2006

$4,496,848,392
76

2005

$52,515,864,757
43

2004

$18,276,707,374
82

2003

$3,451,538,219
86

2002

$1,724,555,432
49

2001

$10,726,003,289
48

2000

$2,003,045,391
38

1999

$8,380,522,859
68

1998

$3,925,963,459
136

1997

$13,948,271,259
118

1996

$10,139,234,212
131

1995

$8,695,228,721
80

1994

$1,928,224,144
91

1993

$29,246,075,447
103

1992

$1,424,230,430
62

1991

$3,270,373,019
61

1990

$3,218,913,725
142

1989

$2,179,895,279
85

1988

$464,057,044
31

1987

$3,050,976,916
70

1986

$13,003,026,775
94

1985

$1,109,415,971
166

1984

$8,418,958,032
126

1983

$9,156,910,969
204

1982

$6,083,660,131
155

1981

$2,633,097,595
84

1980

$4,313,253,012
82

1979

$10,848,484,848
121

1978

$2,347,118,156
125

1977

$4,697,360,248
210

1976

$11,630,154,102
193

1975

$5,778,656,353
127

1974

$2,655,097,784
111

1973

$9,305,509,680
178

1972

$23,708,771,580
555

1971

$1,692,778,431
68

1970

$1,519,563,015
131

1969

$6,620,885,289
445

1968

$2,735,173,932
57

1967

$3,251,889,333
53

1966

$1,068,766,665
56

1965

$7,554,204,087
188

1964

$6,480,217,667
142

1963

$1,838,314,504
41

1962

$803,103,206
53

1961

$1,692,726,286
93

1960

$1,050,267,728
169

1959

$1,649,688,256
25

1958

$2,676,571,199
47

1957

$4,632,182,768
82

1956

$870,109,688
42

1955

$14,039,439,739
302

1954

$1,583,575,376
55

1953

$1,895,791,387
40

1952

$4,156,111,972
54

1951

$17,634,477,400
51

1950

$3,213,085,098
93

1949

$1,832,934,482
48

1948

$4,643,076,729
82

1947

$6,137,600,542
55

1946

$1,904,992,497
28

1945

$5,010,484,312
91

1944

$3,146,633,217
33

1943

$6,410,708,469
107

1942

$3,322,112,884
68

1941

$1,425,927,876
47

1940

$1,556,474,529
60

1939

$545,622,339
83

1938

$3,987,373,661
180

1937

$17,456,658,894
142

1936

$12,766,825,689
142

1935

$6,037,235,286
236

1934

$487,118,667
88

1933

$2,008,283,129
33

1932

$610,355,796
11

1931

$144,402,564
0

1930

$726,757,635
14

1929

$3,062,107,169
89

1928

$2,005,986,415
15

1927

$15,708,650,718
423

1926

$1,050,193,000
16

1925

$446,199,440
36

1924

$735,072,242
27

1923

$2,301,120,280
42

1922

$2,784,910,805
215

1921

$1,320,031,069
143

1920

$918,599,474
42

1919

$148,739,960
2

1918

$387,439,344
0

1917

$1,405,456,575
80

1916

$1,870,478,400
118

1915

$1,414,315,570
49

1914

$1,877,392,225
180

1913

$15,952,701,960
527

1912

$7,935,939,429
2

1911

$777,868,559
0

1910

$2,059,298,042
0

1909

$5,025,706,286
5

1908

$983,577,320
11

1907

$1,435,459,485
7

1906

$39,191,579
1

1905

$1,077,768,421
2

1904

$641,272,211
0

1903

$5,204,249,768
178

 

 

 

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     Page last Modified: 26 July, 2013 4:48 PM