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Press Release 11-124

Economic Cost of Weather May Total $485 Billion in U.S.

Routine weather events can add up to huge annual economic impact

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Photo of a firefighter in the foreground and wildfire burning a forest in the background.

New Mexico's Last Chance Fire. Wind-driven wildfires char forests--and nearby human dwellings.

Credit: U.S. Forest Service


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Photo of lightning at night.

Summer thunderstorms may knock out electricity for thousands and ground airplanes in wide areas.

Credit: NOAA


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Photo of a tornado.

Tornadoes wreaked havoc during one of the country's most active weather seasons on record.

Credit: NOAA


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Photo of a duststorm engulfing Stratford, Texas.

In extreme drought like that of the 1930s, cities like Stratford, Texas, are engulfed by dust.

Credit: NOAA


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Photo of vehicles traveling down a road with downed telephone poles and collapsed houses.

From June through October, hurricanes may leave destruction in their wakes.

Credit: NOAA


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Photo of a snow-covered road and telephone wires sagging under a heavy burden of snow.

A hint of what's to come: six months from now, much of the U.S. may look like this picture.

Credit: NWS/NOAA


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