Top 10 Hardest Hit States of 2011
By many measures, 2011 was the most extreme weather year for the U.S. since reliable record-keeping began in the 19th century — and the costs have been enormous: according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 2011 set a record for the most billion dollar disasters in a single year. There were 12, breaking the old record of nine set in 2009. The aggregate damage from these 12 events totals at least $52 billion, NOAA found.
This slideshow recaps the year's extraordinarily destructive climate and weather events, including searing heat waves, parching drought, deadly tornadoes, blizzards and floods. Together these events affected tens of millions of lives and tragically, killed more than a thousand people across the U.S., injuring more than 8,000, according to NOAA.
Climate Central examined extreme weather events from coast to coast to determine the 10 states that were clobbered the worst. Texas tops that list, with a costly — and deadly — combination of intense drought, a punishing heat wave, the worst wildfires in state history, and plenty of tornadoes. Alabama, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Kansas, Connecticut, Vermont and New Jersey round out the top 10.
Climate Central’s analysis considered the death toll in each state, damage costs, the disruption caused to daily life, and how unusual the events were compared with what transpires in an average year.