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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 = $7.96 Billion in damages/year, 82 fatalities/year

Year
Flood Damages (Water Year)
Adjusted to 2014 Inflation
Water year (e.g. WY 2014 is Oct 1, 2013 through Sep 30, 2014)
Flood Fatalities
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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2014

$2,861,426,089
38

2013

$2,210,809,876
80

2012

$522,119,985
29

2011

$9,102,294,087
113

2010

$5,615,860,859
103

2009

$1,099,446,636
56

2008

$6,747,571,742
82

2007

$2,936,200,387
87

2006

$4,737,440,410
76

2005

$55,325,587,646
43

2004

$19,254,554,417
82

2003

$3,636,203,672
86

2002

$1,816,823,223
49

2001

$11,299,869,817
48

2000

$2,110,213,054
38

1999

$8,828,900,640
68

1998

$4,136,011,784
136

1997

$14,694,536,739
118

1996

$10,681,707,207
131

1995

$9,160,444,009
80

1994

$2,031,388,693
91

1993

$30,810,809,608
103

1992

$1,500,430,125
62

1991

$3,445,345,705
61

1990

$3,391,133,218
142

1989

$2,296,524,829
85

1988

$488,885,193
31

1987

$3,214,211,392
70

1986

$13,698,719,441
94

1985

$1,168,772,348
166

1984

$8,869,392,185
126

1983

$9,646,827,349
204

1982

$6,409,150,327
155

1981

$2,773,974,540
84

1980

$4,544,022,243
82

1979

$11,428,904,429
121

1978

$2,472,694,524
125

1977

$4,948,680,124
210

1976

$12,252,394,835
193

1975

$6,087,828,126
127

1974

$2,797,151,791
111

1973

$9,803,376,442
178

1972

$24,977,246,897
555

1971

$1,783,346,078
68

1970

$1,600,863,228
131

1969

$6,975,118,301
445

1968

$2,881,512,203
57

1967

$3,425,873,099
53

1966

$1,125,948,208
56

1965

$7,958,371,860
188

1964

$6,826,924,628
142

1963

$1,936,668,675
41

1962

$846,071,126
53

1961

$1,783,291,143
93

1960

$1,106,459,534
169

1959

$1,737,950,477
25

1958

$2,819,774,084
47

1957

$4,880,015,494
82

1956

$916,662,613
42

1955

$14,790,582,948
302

1954

$1,668,300,401
55

1953

$1,997,220,707
40

1952

$4,378,473,786
54

1951

$18,577,963,621
51

1950

$3,384,992,745
93

1949

$1,931,000,809
48

1948

$4,891,492,308
82

1947

$6,465,976,678
55

1946

$2,006,914,098
28

1945

$5,278,557,065
91

1944

$3,314,985,532
33

1943

$6,753,696,524
107

1942

$3,499,853,775
68

1941

$1,502,218,388
47

1940

$1,639,749,595
60

1939

$574,814,424
83

1938

$4,200,707,576
180

1937

$18,390,631,404
142

1936

$13,449,881,039
142

1935

$6,360,241,643
236

1934

$513,180,667
88

1933

$2,115,731,024
33

1932

$643,011,274
11

1931

$152,128,442
0

1930

$765,640,887
14

1929

$3,225,937,140
89

1928

$2,113,311,430
15

1927

$16,549,100,660
423

1926

$1,106,380,808
16

1925

$470,072,164
36

1924

$774,400,344
27

1923

$2,424,235,654
42

1922

$2,933,910,115
215

1921

$1,390,655,851
143

1920

$967,746,717
42

1919

$156,697,899
2

1918

$408,168,265
0

1917

$1,480,651,823
80

1916

$1,970,553,415
118

1915

$1,489,984,796
49

1914

$1,977,837,146
180

1913

$16,806,209,220
527

1912

$8,360,530,945
2

1911

$819,486,366
0

1910

$2,169,475,354
0

1909

$5,294,593,451
5

1908

$1,036,201,031
11

1907

$1,512,259,960
7

1906

$41,288,421
1

1905

$1,135,431,579
2

1904

$675,581,789
0

1903

$5,482,689,432
178

 

 

 

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     Page last Modified: 24 March, 2015 4:12 PM