America’s Most Expensive Natural Disasters of 2011

From tornadoes in the Midwest to the devastation of Hurricane Irene, here are the 10 billion dollar disasters that struck America this year.

From tornadoes in the Midwest to the devastation of Hurricane Irene, here are the 10 billion-dollar disasters that struck America this year.

Scott Olson / Getty Images

1. Hurricane Irene

August 20-29, 2011
Cost: TBD

The damage from Hurricane Irene has been estimated at $13 billion, and about 750,000 people remain without electricity because of the storm. The hurricane tore up the East Coast, caused massive inland flooding, and resulted in at least 45 deaths in 13 states.

Charles Rex Arbogast / AP Photo

2. Upper Midwest Flooding

Summer, 2011
Cost: Estimated to exceed $2 billion

The melting of an above-average snow pack across the Northern Rocky Mountains combined with above-average precipitation caused the Missouri and Souris Rivers to swell beyond their banks across the Upper Midwest. An estimated 11,000 people were forced to evacuate Minot, N.D., due to the record high water level of the Souris River, where 4,000 homes were flooded. Numerous levees were breached along the Missouri River, flooding thousands of acres of farmland.

Jeff Roberson / AP Photo

3. Mississippi River Flooding

Spring-Summer, 2011
Cost: $2 to $4 billion

Three times normal rainfall in the Ohio Valley combined with melting snowpack caused historical flooding along the Mississippi River and its tributaries.

Tom Pennington / Getty Images

4. Southern Plains/Southwest Drought, Heatwave, and Wildfires

Spring-Summer, 2011
Cost: $5 billion (as of Aug. 15)

Drought, heat waves, and wildfires spread across Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, southern Kansas, western Arkansas, and Louisiana. Fighting the wildfire costs are estimated at $1 million per day with over 2,000 homes and structures lost. Direct losses (as of Aug. 15) to agriculture, cattle, and structures are well over $5 billion.

Charlie Riedel / AP Photo

5. Midwest/Southeast Tornadoes

May 22-27, 2011
Cost: $4.9 billion insured losses; total losses greater than $7 billion  

The May tornado outbreak will be remembered for the EF-5 tornado that struck Joplin, Mo., resulting in at least 141 deaths, making it the deadliest single tornado to strike the U.S. since modern tornado record-keeping began in 1950.

Dave Martin / AP Photo

6. Southeast/Ohio Valley/Midwest Tornadoes

April 25-30, 2011
Cost: $9 billion

The deadliest tornado of the outbreak, an EF-5, hit northern Alabama, killing 78 people. Several major metropolitan areas were directly affected by strong tornadoes including Chattanooga, Tenn., and the Alabama cities of Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, and Huntsville. A total of 327 people were killed.

Sue Ogrocki / AP Photo

7. Midwest/Southeast Tornadoes

April 14-16, 2011
Cost: $2 billion

The third tornado outbreak in April led to an estimated 160 tornadoes and resulted in total losses exceeding $2 billion and 38 deaths (22 of which were in North Carolina).

Nati Harnik / AP Photo

8. Southeast/Midwest Tornadoes

April 8-11, 2011
Cost: $2.2 billion

The second April outbreak of roughly 60 tornadoes across central and southern states resulted in total losses greater than $2.2 billion and numerous injuries.

Nati Harnik / AP Photo

9. Midwest/Southeast Tornadoes

April 4-5, 2011
Cost: $2.3 billion

The first April outbreak of roughly 46 tornadoes across central and southern states resulted in total losses of greater than $2.3 billion and nine deaths.

Scott Olson / Getty Images

10. Groundhog Day Blizzard

Jan. 29-Feb. 3, 2011
Cost: $2 billion

Chicago was brought to a standstill when between one and two feet of snow fell over the area. The blizzard resulted in total losses of greater than $2 billion and 36 deaths.