A Note on Order Statistics and Property Losses from Catastrophic Hurricanes and Floods in the USA.
The relative short time scale and limited spatial scales of hurricanes allow a normalization of damages to the present time. The most damaging hurricane in the period 1925-1995 was one that hit South Florida in 1926, following a path north of that followed by Hurricane Andrew in 1992, and also caused damage along the Alabama coast. The normalized losses from the 1926 hurricane totaled $72 billion compared with the normalized $33 billion loss caused by Andrew. The most probable loss for a hurricane causing a loss greater than the 1926 hurricane is $152 billion. In constant current dollars, the average yearly loss from floods in the USA is $3.1 billion while losses exceeded $4 billion in 25 years. The largest yearly flood-related loss was from the 1993 Midwest flood, which caused a loss of $19.5 billion. The most probable value for yearly loss greater than that of 1993 is $32.5 billion.
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