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In 2017, 16 Natural Disasters Shattered the Previous Single-Year Record of Storm Damage

a researcher looking at graphs and charts

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released a report tallying the damage from 2017’s natural disasters. All told, the disasters cost $306 billion, beating the previous U.S. damage record for natural disasters (set in 2005 when hurricanes Dennis, Katrina, Rita, and Wilma hit) by almost $100 billion. The report says that “the increase in population and material wealth over the last several decades are an important factor for the increased damage potential,” trends that are “further complicated by the fact that many population centers and infrastructure exist in vulnerable areas like coasts and river floodplains, while building codes are often insufficient in reducing damage from extreme events.”

Many North Carolinians are still in the long process of recovering from 2016’s  Hurricane Matthew and Tropical Storms Hermine and Julia. The Agency’s disaster recovery program for homeowners (Essential Single-Family Rehabilitation Loan Pool – Disaster Recovery) provides funding through our community partners to help eligible disaster-affected homeowners repair their homes. In 2017, 333 single-family homes and 48 multifamily rental homes in 30 counties were in the process of receiving repairs through the program.