Natural disasters cost $91 billion in 2018, according to federal report

  • Natural disasters cost the country $91 billion in 2018, according to a new report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
  • The economic losses are due to 14 different natural disasters, ranging from hurricanes to wildfires to winter storms.
  • The Trump administration has been historically resistant to take action on climate change.
Firefighters battle to save one of many homes burning in an early-morning Creek Fire that broke out in the Kagel Canyon area in the San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles, in Sylmar, California, U.S., December 5, 2017.
Gene Blevins | Reuters
Firefighters battle to save one of many homes burning in an early-morning Creek Fire that broke out in the Kagel Canyon area in the San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles, in Sylmar, California, U.S., December 5, 2017.

Natural disasters cost the country $91 billion in 2018, according to a new report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The report's findings are a sign that the changing climate and increasing numbers of extreme weather events are having a significant economic impact, even as the Trump administration continues to undo Obama-era climate regulations.

The economic losses in 2018 were due to 14 different natural disasters, ranging from hurricanes to wildfires to winter storms. Eighty percent, or $73 billion, of the total loss was attributable to just three events: Hurricane Michael in Florida, Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas, and wildfires in the West, including California.

According to the report, 2018 had the fourth-highest total costs from natural disasters since NOAA started tracking this data in 1980. It also marked the eighth consecutive year with eight or more natural disasters that cost at least $1 billion each.

Last year set a new record for wildfire costs, with $24 billion in losses caused by several fires throughout the summer and fall. November's Camp Fire burned over 150,000 acres in northern California alone, destroying homes and businesses.

A woman looks out at the destruction caused by the Tubbs fire while holding items of emotional importance salvaged from her childhood home in the Coffey Park neighborhood on October 15, 2017 in Santa Rosa, California.
Getty Images
A woman looks out at the destruction caused by the Tubbs fire while holding items of emotional importance salvaged from her childhood home in the Coffey Park neighborhood on October 15, 2017 in Santa Rosa, California.

Since 1980, the U.S. has sustained over $1.6 trillion in losses due to natural disasters.

The Trump administration has been historically resistant to take action on climate change. President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement during his first year in office.

The president has dismissed reports on the effects of climate change and mocked the concept of global warming during recent winter storms.

"Large parts of the Country are suffering from tremendous amounts of snow and near record setting cold," Trump tweeted last month. "Wouldn't be bad to have a little of that good old fashioned Global Warming right now!"

The report found that 2018 was the fourth-hottest year on record for the globe. NOAA has stated that "not only are severe snowstorms possible in a warming climate, they may even be more likely."