The Increasing Cost and Frequency of Severe Storms | SERVPRO® of North Kenosha County
2020 was a year that inflicted all sorts of punishment. Many of us were affected by the pandemic in one way or another, and almost all of us felt the effects of an extended national quarantine.
And on top of all that, the year also turned into one of the most violent in history in regard to extreme weather. In fact, 2020 saw more weather disasters than any previous year for which we have data.
Storms or weather events are officially classified as disasters when they cause a billion dollars in damage. There were 22 of these unfortunate occurrences in 2020, crushing the previous mark of 16, which was set just a few years prior.
And of course there were many other weather calamities that didn’t reach the billion-dollar threshold—there were so many cyclones in the Atlantic, for example, that the National Weather service ran out of names and had to use Greek letters to name the rest of the year’s storms.
Not Just Hurricanes
It’s common to point the finger at hurricanes when it comes to financially disastrous storms. But last year, it happened that the most expensive disasters of 2020 in the contiguous United States were thunderstorms and tornadoes: More than 60% of the disasters on record were thunderstorms or storm-related events.
In August, a single storm system that began in Nebraska took out over 100 million acres of corn fields—an area more than 150,000 square miles—jeopardizing over 11% of the entire country’s corn production, and half the crop of the state. That same storm reached us all the way in Kenosha and Racine, causing flooding, downed trees and a sizable sinkhole at Quarry Lake Park.
Not Just 2020
While we certainly hope for gentler years to come, it does seem that 2020 was part of an unfortunate trend of extreme weather years. Every year since 2011 has brought at least eight billion-dollar events, and several of those years have set records of their own, including 2017, when storms caused over $300 billion in total damages.
Thunderstorms and extreme weather are possible year round, and precautions against storm and water damage should be a regular part of every homeowner’s preparations. But if extreme weather overwhelms your preparation or causes other damages, remember SERVPRO is on call 24 hours a day for emergency help.
When storms do damage, we go to work to make things right. Contact SERVPRO today to see how we can help.