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Texas Tops 10 States Ravaged by Extreme Weather in 2011

No. 6 Tennessee 

The total cost of weather related damage in TN nearly reached $4 billion from a EF-4 tornado that touched down in Apison and deadly floods resulting from the rainest May on record. Credit:NASA.

The good news for Tennessee this year was that the drought that plagued states to the southwest — Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas — didn’t make it up this far. But for the Volunteer State, a little more drought might have been a good thing. 

Tennessee had an unusually wet spring, part of a broader-scale deluge that spurred massive flooding along the Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio Rivers. On May 10, the Mississippi River crested at 47.9 feet (14.6 m) in Memphis, the highest level reached there since 1937. The damage in Memphis alone is estimated to have cost $320 million, according to NOAA.

Floods weren’t the only lethal weather to strike Tennessee during the spring. Although it did not suffer the brunt of these events, Tennessee was also affected by five massive severe weather outbreaks, each of which were billion dollar disasters. During the largest of the tornado outbreaks, which occurred between April 24-28, 32 people were killed in Tennessee. One EF-4 tornado tracked across parts of Chattanooga, causing major damage in the community of Apison where eight people were killed and 100 injured. When you add in the heat wave that blasted most of the eastern half of the U.S. in July, the total damage from weather and climate-related disasters added up to nearly $4 billion.

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