- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 17, 2011

WASHINGTON (AP) - This crazy year of weather extremes has tied another record: this one for most billion-dollar weather disasters

The National Weather Service says nine weather disasters this year have each caused more than $1 billion in damage. That ties 2008. And this year isn’t near finished.

Weather Service Director Jack Hayes says the peak of hurricane season is just starting and the United States seems overdue for a hurricane smacking the coast.

The government has been tracking billion-dollar weather disasters for 30 years and the country normally averages about three a year.

The billion-dollar disasters included two floods, five tornado outbreaks and a blizzard. This year severe thunderstorms have also cost $20 billion, double what’s normal.

Hayes said his office will emphasize making the nation better prepared for weather disasters.


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