The billion-dollar weather disasters keep piling up, with the USA now at a record-shattering 12 for the year, according to Steve Bowen, a meteorologist at insurance broker AON.
Bowen says economic losses from Tropical Storm Lee — which drenched the East Coast in September but was never a hurricane — reached $1 billion, with most of the damage due to flooding along the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania.
So far, damage from Hurricane Irene has reached at least $7 billion, he says.
"However, many locations in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic are still in the midst of trying to separate out flood losses between Irene and Lee," he says.
On a side note, Bowen adds that the National Climatic Data Center, which tracks these disasters, will likely need to add another billion-dollar tally to a severe weather event that occurred in mid-June. Combined with Lee, that should make at least 12 separate billion-dollar events in the USA this year.
The previous single-year record for billion-dollar disasters was nine, set in 2008.