Five 2005 weather disasters topped $1 billion

/ Source: The Associated Press

Last year added five events to the nation's list of weather disasters that did a billion dollars or more in damage, the National Climatic Data Center said in an updated listing of costliest calamities.

Four hurricanes and a Midwest drought joined the agency's register of costly disasters, bringing the total to 67 since 1980.

Hurricane Katrina, with a financial toll of more than $100 billion, became the nation's most expensive disaster in history, according to NCDC. That storm also claimed more than 1,300 lives.

Before Katrina, the most expensive climate- or weather-related disasters since 1980 were the 1988 drought and heat wave, $61.6 billion; the 1980 drought and heat wave, $48.4 billion; and 1992's Hurricane Andrew, $35.6 billion, according to the climate center.

In addition to Katrina, last year's billion-dollar disasters were Hurricane Wilma, $10 billion; Hurricane Rita, $8 billion; Hurricane Dennis, $2 billion; and the drought that struck the Midwest in spring and summer, $1 billion.

The five billion-dollar disasters in 2005 ranked it second on the list of most disasters in one year. Only 1998 topped it, with seven.

1998 also had more variety in its disasters: Hurricanes Georges and Bonnie, flooding in Texas, a summer drought and heat wave in the South, severe thunderstorms with hail in Minnesota, a tornado outbreak in the Southeast, and a January ice storm in the Northeast.

The National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C., is part of the federal National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The full list is online at