Steve
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In terms of actual damage is this the worst Hurricane Season on record?

It sure seems like it. But maybe Katrina still has this year beat.

And it [s]till has some time to go.

Wow, just wow.

 
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Damian
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Almost certainly. Katrina was $135 billion in 2017 dollars. That same year you also had Wilma, Rita, and a few others. It blew away every other year.

But...

Very, very preliminary estimates are putting Harvey and Irma rebuilding at $150-200 billion. That might have been a closer race. Then Maria hit.
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Steve Vondra
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The season isn't even over yet.
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Wendell
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Good question. I'm not sure. You'd have to adjust for inflation, etc to compare to big ones in the more distant past like Hurricane Hazel.

But it probably IS the most expensive if for no other reason that coastal Texas and coastal Florida have far more houses, shops, roads and of course PEOPLE than they used to (since say Andrew or Rita, etc) which were there in 2017 to be flooded and/or wind-damaged.
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Kirk
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I heard that 34 hurricanes hit Florida and Texas in 1490 but there really weren't many people around to notice.
 
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Damage is an interesting measure - not because it is not viable - because even comparing say, 1951 damage in 2017 dollars to 2017 does not present an accurate picture - because there are so many more people living on the coasts - that alone increases damages.

Further, as poorly planned cities get bigger, the impacts of even smaller storms get magnified.
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Wendell
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Utrecht wrote:
Damage is an interesting measure - not because it is not viable - because even comparing say, 1951 damage in 2017 dollars to 2017 does not present an accurate picture - because there are so many more people living on the coasts - that alone increases damages.

Further, as poorly planned cities get bigger, the impacts of even smaller storms get magnified.


Not to mention the impact of climate-changed caused rising sea levels. I mean, Miami now occasionally floods on SUNNY days even without a hurricane or a storm.
 
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wifwendell wrote:
Utrecht wrote:
Damage is an interesting measure - not because it is not viable - because even comparing say, 1951 damage in 2017 dollars to 2017 does not present an accurate picture - because there are so many more people living on the coasts - that alone increases damages.

Further, as poorly planned cities get bigger, the impacts of even smaller storms get magnified.


Not to mention the impact of climate-changed caused rising sea levels. I mean, Miami now occasionally floods on SUNNY days even without a hurricane or a storm.


Going to push back on this - not because of the climate change angle - but because other low lying areas are capable of managing it (i.e. Netherlands). So regardless of one's position on CC, it is still viable to channel the water to where you want it (within reason - especially for what ever delta is introduced because of CC)

Most of these coastal areas have done little to no mitigation.
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Wendell
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Utrecht wrote:
wifwendell wrote:
Utrecht wrote:
Damage is an interesting measure - not because it is not viable - because even comparing say, 1951 damage in 2017 dollars to 2017 does not present an accurate picture - because there are so many more people living on the coasts - that alone increases damages.

Further, as poorly planned cities get bigger, the impacts of even smaller storms get magnified.


Not to mention the impact of climate-changed caused rising sea levels. I mean, Miami now occasionally floods on SUNNY days even without a hurricane or a storm.


Going to push back on this - not because of the climate change angle - but because other low lying areas are capable of managing it (i.e. Netherlands). So regardless of one's position on CC, it is still viable to channel the water to where you want it (within reason - especially for what ever delta is introduced because of CC)

Most of these coastal areas have done little to no mitigation.


True no mitigation yet.

Didn't used to flood on sunny days, though. The Dutch have been doing mitigation all along because they've always been living in flooding areas and reclaimed land below sea level.
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wifwendell wrote:
Didn't used to flood on sunny days, though. The Dutch have been doing mitigation all along because they've always been living in flooding areas and reclaimed land below sea level.


Oh, I know - hence the user name

In all seriousness, it is a pity - that this gets pushed - it is never an issue until it is AN ISSUE and then it is way to late.
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Steve
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Utrecht wrote:
Damage is an interesting measure - not because it is not viable - because even comparing say, 1951 damage in 2017 dollars to 2017 does not present an accurate picture - because there are so many more people living on the coasts - that alone increases damages.

Further, as poorly planned cities get bigger, the impacts of even smaller storms get magnified.

News sources want big numbers to sell "eyes". Like when they started calling casualties killed. Casualties are wounded, killed and missing. But, changing the word to killed makes more dramatic reports, even if they are wrong.

Anyway, what should be quoted is damage reports corrected for inflation and population; $$$ per 1 M or 10 M people. Per capita damage totals.

 
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Walt
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wifwendell wrote:
Not to mention the impact of climate-changed caused rising sea levels. I mean, Miami now occasionally floods on SUNNY days even without a hurricane or a storm.

Well, it depends on what you mean by "occasionally". My understanding is that Miami commonly floods during spring tides, that is, at high tide during the new or full moon, about twice a month. Miami has done some mild mitigation, like raising streets. That prompted one insurance company to try to claim that made the flooding of a previously street-level home an invalid claim because the ground level floor was now a basement. Sheesh.

Damage is a pretty weird measure, even between 2005 and 2017. Many people who had a home computer and an entertainment system, sitting on wood floors in 2005, might now have a smartphone, a TV hanging on the wall, and Pergo or similar flooring. When houses get thoroughly trashed, I suppose damage gets more comparable. We'll see when the season ends.

And "worst season" begs the question, "In which tropical cyclone basin?" Just 2013's Typhoon Haiyan killed over 6000 with over 1000 missing and did almost US$3 billion damage; season total, US$23.6B. While the Atlantic probably has the most reliable data the longest, the vast majority of storms are elsewhere:


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David Dearlove
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I think you Americans missed out that you are talking about the continental USA only (not your colony of Puerto Rico).
It the worst in the BVIs ever for example.
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Ken
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Utrecht wrote:
Going to push back on this - not because of the climate change angle - but because other low lying areas are capable of managing it (i.e. Netherlands).


Go look at the estimated cost to prevent the flooding - sunny day or hurricane. The Netherlands, London, Venice, etc. have spent billions building sea walls capable of handling some incredibly surges.

I mean, it can be done, sure. But it's not like it's either cheap or easy.
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perfalbion wrote:
Utrecht wrote:
Going to push back on this - not because of the climate change angle - but because other low lying areas are capable of managing it (i.e. Netherlands).


Go look at the estimated cost to prevent the flooding - sunny day or hurricane. The Netherlands, London, Venice, etc. have spent billions building sea walls capable of handling some incredibly surges.

I mean, it can be done, sure. But it's not like it's either cheap or easy.


Oh, no doubt - and making a gross generalization the the Netherlands to the US is silly due to the massive disparity in size.

But there are "moderate" things that can be done - less on preventing the water from entering (the water always wins) but rather channeling it to where you want it - that is where the Dutch as masters and the US well - we really don't try.
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Walt
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DavidDearlove wrote:
I think you Americans missed out that you are talking about the continental USA only (not your colony of Puerto Rico).
It the worst in the BVIs ever for example.

I see two kind of damage estimates. As you say, Katrina in NOLA + Wilma in Florida + ...; but also Katrina, international total + Wilma, international total + .... So, both strike totals and hurricane totals, each combined into season totals. It depends on where you look and how deeply.

perfalbion wrote:
Utrecht wrote:
Going to push back on this - not because of the climate change angle - but because other low lying areas are capable of managing it (i.e. Netherlands).

Go look at the estimated cost to prevent the flooding - sunny day or hurricane. The Netherlands, London, Venice, etc. have spent billions building sea walls capable of handling some incredibly surges.

I mean, it can be done, sure. But it's not like it's either cheap or easy.

"God created the world but the Dutch created Holland."

Creating a polder isn't easy, but it's highly profitable. Flevopolder is about 370 square miles with over 300,000 residents--pretty roomy. Around my area, 100,000 sea side homes would be worth US$100B to US$1 trillion and generate $10B to $100B just in property tax revenue. You'd have a comparable amount of industry and commercial development, plus employment, tourism, etc.

Lots of polder or artificial island projects have been done world wide. They make money.

Think about a cruise ship. They can cost $1B or so each, but the industry does around $30B just looking at the cruise ships, not the port tourism. It's not an industry that's hurting, despite a lot of competition. And a cruise ship is a far more demanding system than a polder.

While London and Venice for now, as far as I'm aware, are merely defending their lands, that's cheaper than rebuilding. The US spends $600B on defense, and complaints are not widespread.

To be sure, long term preservation of Florida with dikes and pumping looks exceedingly expensive, and it's not clear it would actually preserve Florida as it is. But in many other places, a polder could be created and the land reclaimed would pay for the construction costs. This has been done several places near me, and they're rich communities.

The economics are different on coasts, and God isn't making much new coastline. And if you had gotten flooded out by Katrina, Harvey, or Irma, how much of a premium would you pay to have a similar house, location, and view but never be flooded again?
 
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Wendell
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DavidDearlove wrote:
I think you Americans missed out that you are talking about the continental USA only (not your colony of Puerto Rico).
It the worst in the BVIs ever for example.


That's an excellent point; the US Virgin Islands also took a real hit. Though the scale of Texas and Florida is much bigger just because well they're bigger places with more people.

The PM of Antigua & Barbuda said Barbuda's hit from Irma may have been the worst-ever disaster on a per capita basis. He may be right; the entirety of Barbuda's 3000 people are currently evacuees.
 
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Bill Cook
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Are we just looking at damage in the United States? In just the states, or are we including the territories?

Almost 2,000 people died during Katrina. How can you measure the life of a woman or man?
 
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EMBison wrote:
Are we just looking at damage in the United States? In just the states, or are we including the territories?

Almost 2,000 people died during Katrina. How can you measure the life of a woman or man?


By the average cost of regulations per death prevented, by the premiums on their life insurance, and by likely expected remaining years of life for limited medical resources, where they stand in times of chalkenge and controversy, how they treat others who can do them no good, how they treat inferiors not equals, how they do with what they have, and probably several other methods if we really think of it.


But who am i except a fool who plays,at being wise.
 
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Bill Cook
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maxo-texas wrote:
EMBison wrote:
Are we just looking at damage in the United States? In just the states, or are we including the territories?

Almost 2,000 people died during Katrina. How can you measure the life of a woman or man?


By the average cost of regulations per death prevented, by the premiums on their life insurance, and by likely expected remaining years of life for limited medical resources, where they stand in times of chalkenge and controversy, how they treat others who can do them no good, how they treat inferiors not equals, how they do with what they have, and probably several other methods if we really think of it.


Those are some good choices. I would have gone with in truths that she learned, or in times that he cried. In bridges he burned, or
the way that she died.
 
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Steve
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In the US today, draining swamps, coastal swamps and building polders is against the "Wetlands law".

As sea level continues to rise, it may be a short term gain, but long term loss.

 
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Wendell
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Steve1501 wrote:
In the US today, draining swamps, coastal swamps and building polders is against the "Wetlands law".

As sea level continues to rise, it may be a short term gain, but long term loss.



Honestly, intact wetlands are usually the best defense a coast has.
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wifwendell wrote:
Honestly, intact wetlands are usually the best defense a coast has.

Depends on the local geography. On most of the East and Gulf Coasts, yes. Out here or in Hawaii, a nice big rock cliff works just fine.
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Utrecht wrote:
But there are "moderate" things that can be done - less on preventing the water from entering (the water always wins) but rather channeling it to where you want it - that is where the Dutch as masters and the US well - we really don't try.


I'm pretty sure that if you look at any major Dutch city, you'll see massive sea walls protecting it and that many of them have actually been there a very long time. The Zuider Zee (spelling?) is one, for example. They definitely have flood control channels and tons of pumps, but they've been putting money into prevention for centuries.
 
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Wikipedia wrote:

I believe until Katrina, Andrew held the record.
 
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