Cost of Disasters in the US Surge as Flooding Becomes More Frequent

A flooded neighborhood Lehigh University’s research claimed that flooding in the U.S. had occurred more often at an earlier time than normal in 2017, while the cost of damages from natural and man-made disasters have increased as well.

Xiuyuan Li, a university data scientist and hydrologist, said that the research might more or less be accurate since flood-prediction models can provide uncertain outcomes. Still, this kind of model may help communities in preparing for such events.

Better Accuracy

Hence, Lehigh University’ Li and Tara Troy aim to enhance the accuracy of their flood-prediction models. Their research will base information from more than 3,200 flooding cases between 1950 and 2010. It also used data from 18 Geological Survey water regions in mainland U.S.

The scientists also discovered a majority of flooding in the West Coast happens in December or January. On the other hand, Utah deals with this scenario between May and June that requires intensive flood cleanup in Salt Lake City and other cities. Firms such as AAA Restoration can help you with this.

Cost of Damages

Each year, flooding claims significant loss of lives and property. Reinsurance firm Swiss Re said that for 2017, the cost of damages for natural and man-made disasters amounted to $306 billion, up more than 60%. This may include damages from floods brought by Hurricane Harvey in Houston.

Aside from Harvey, Hurricanes Irma and Maria contributed to the significantly higher amount of annual damages compared to $188 billion in 2016, according to Swiss Re. In terms of insured losses, the company estimated the three hurricanes to be responsible for nearly $93 billion of damages.

Wildfires in California that has happened in late 2017 also drove the increase in losses.


While natural disasters are beyond our control, knowing what to do before, during and after storms becomes more important since flooding now appears to happen more often.