Special Report

Worst Natural Disasters in the US in the Last 10 Years

Source: David McNew / Getty Images

45. Western Wildfires
> Deaths: 8
> Est. cost: $2.0 billion
> Disaster classification: Wildfire
> Date: Summer-Fall 2012

Wildfires raged across more than 9.2 million acres, primarily in eight western states — Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington — from June through November 2012. The fires persisted due to dryness, low humidity, and windy conditions. Heat was also a factor, with Nevada reporting its warmest August on record to up to that point and Colorado and Wyoming reporting their warmest summers since 1895.

Source: I am R. / Flickr

44. Houston Flooding
> Deaths: 8
> Est. cost: $2.9 billion
> Disaster classification: Flooding
> Date: April 2016

In mid-April 2016, 17 inches of rainfall lead to the worst flooding to date at the time since the city was hit by Tropical Storm Allison in 2001. The flooding damaged thousands of homes and businesses and lead to eight deaths and over 1,800 high-water rescues.

Source: Scott Olson / Getty Images

43. Southern Plains Flooding
> Deaths: 8
> Est. cost: TBD
> Disaster classification: Flooding
> Date: May 2019

Historic flooding impacted vast swaths of the South and Plains States in May 2019. Roadways, bridges, dams, and agriculture were affected in several states, including Oklahoma, Nebraska, Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana. The flooding also lead to high water levels on the Mississippi River and disrupted industrial barge traffic. The flooding killed eight people, and the total economic toll remains to be seen.

Source: Marc Piscotty / Getty Images

42. Colorado Flooding
> Deaths: 9
> Est. cost: $1.7 billion
> Disaster classification: Flooding
> Date: September 2013

Parts of Colorado surrounding Denver, including Aurora and Boulder, were hit with record rainfall from Sept. 10-16 in 2013. Parts of the state reported over 15 inches of rain over those days. The flooding lead to nine deaths and destroyed homes, businesses, and transportation infrastructure.

Source: Jessica Kourkounis / Getty Images

41. Northeast Winter Storm
> Deaths: 9
> Est. cost: $2.3 billion
> Disaster classification: Winter storm
> Date: March 2018

In March 2018, 10 states across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic were slammed with a winter storm. The nor’easter brought high winds and heavy snowfall that killed nine and resulted in $2.3 billion in damage and heavy coastal erosion.