This is the only state that hasn’t had a tornado in the last decade

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Tornadoes affect far more states than those that comprise Tornado Alley — the stretch of the central U.S. where clashes of cold and warm air can produce the right conditions for tornadic activity — a ValuePenguin study of the last decade of data from the National Weather Service (NWS) and the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) reveals. In the past decade, tornadoes have caused more than $14.1 billion in total damage across the U.S.

From 2010 through 2020, tornadoes resulted in $2.5 million in property damage per storm. In response to the devastation, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) allotted nearly $360 million in public assistance to states that were hit especially hard by tornadoes — more than $22 million per disaster declaration. FEMA’s records show that just two states received nearly 50% of the agency’s disaster relief funds during this period, with unlikely Massachusetts leading the way.

But while the federal government’s efforts to repair tornado damage pose a multibillion-dollar financial commitment, data from insurers doesn’t indicate that affected property owners will face huge premium increases if a storm destroys their homes. Rather, rate information shows an average per-year increase of only $180 in the states most likely to experience the greatest number of tornadoes.

Key findings

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2010-2020: Tornadoes caused more than $2.5 million in property damage per storm & nearly 1,000 fatalities

From 2010 to 2020, a total of 5,710 tornadoes spawned across the United States. Combined, tornadoes destroyed more than $14.1 billion in property and crops across the 48 states that had damages. In each of Alabama, Texas, Mississippi and Illinois, twisters dealt out more than $1 billion in damages. These states, all in or adjacent to Tornado Alley, saw 1,167 storms from 2010 to 2020 — one-fifth of the country’s total. However, many of the places that experienced the most storms and the most damage aren’t necessarily tornadic hot spots.

Despite experiencing fewer tornadoes relative to the most-affected areas, Ohio, Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina suffered more economic devastation than states with more storms.

A comparison of the distribution of storms and the total amount of damage they inflicted shows that the amount of tornadoes an area experienced didn’t have a directly proportional relationship to the cost of damage the storms caused.

Our comparison showed that the states in the top 25th percentile experienced at least 185 tornadoes during the last decade. At the same time, storms wrought at least $325.7 million worth of destruction to the top quarter of most-damaged states. But the states at the top of both categories weren’t the same.

Five states — Florida, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Colorado and Nebraska — experienced a higher proportion of total tornadoes relative to other states, but saw less damage. There were an average of 218 tornadoes in these states, higher than the 185 that marks the top 25% most-affected states. At the same time, storms caused more than $122.5 million in property damage in these states, on average — closer to the median in terms of damage.

Similarly, relatively fewer storms hit Ohio, Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina compared to the most-affected states. But the storms that did hit these four were more damaging to these communities. While an average of 149 tornadoes touched down in these states from 2010 to 2020, they caused an average of nearly $696.4 million in damage — more than double the threshold of damage experienced by states in the top 25% of most financially devastated regions.

Here are the number of tornadoes per state, from most to least, with just one state having no tornadoes from 2010 to 2020.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

1. Texas

Storms: 513

Total damage: $1.68 billion

Deaths: 35

Image Credit: Meindert van der Haven / iStock.

2. Kansas

Storms: 290

Total damage: $592.86 million

Deaths: 4

Image Credit: Michael Pham.

3. Florida

Storms: 261

Total damage: $103.23 million

Deaths: 3

Image Credit: Alina McCullen / iStock.

4. Illinois

Storms: 247

Total damage: $1.42 billion

Deaths: 23

Image Credit: EJ_Rodriquez / iStock.

5. Oklahoma

Storms: 216

Total damage: $188.91 million

Deaths: 69

Image Credit: Minerva Studio / iStock.

6. Missouri

Storms: 216

Total damage: $675 million

Deaths: 174

Image Credit: Lana2011 / iStock.

7. Louisiana

Storms: 215

Total damage: $471 million

Deaths: 16

Image Credit: DenisTangneyJr/istockphoto.

8. Mississippi

Storms: 211

Total damage: $1.46 billion

Deaths: 94

Image Credit: Sean Pavone / iStock.

9. Minnesota

Storms: 208

Total damage: $212 million 

Deaths: 5

Image Credit: mdesigner125 / iStock.

10. Colorado

Storms: 205

Total damage: $2.75 million

Deaths: 0

Image Credit: rtrible / iStock.

11. Iowa

Storms: 204

Total damage: $408 million

Deaths: 4

Image Credit: vintagemirror / iStock.

12. Nebraska

Storms: 202

Total damage: $105.58 million

Deaths: 2

Image Credit: Meredith Heil / iStock.

13. Alabama

Storms: 196

Total damage: $1.90 billion

Deaths: 284

Image Credit: JudyKennamer / iStock.

14. Arkansas

Storms: 173

Total damage: $916.16 million

Deaths: 40

Image Credit: benjaminjk / iStock.

15. Georgia

Storms: 162

Total damage: $661.25 million

Deaths: 42

Image Credit: Sean Davis / iStock.

16. North Carolina

Storms: 157

Total damage: $617.77 million

Deaths: 29

Image Credit: Myles Gelbach / iStock.

17. Indiana

Storms: 151

Total damage: $99 million

Deaths: 14

Image Credit: Exclusive Image / iStock.

18. Pennsylvania

Storms: 146

Total damage: $42 million

Deaths: 0

Image Credit: Meredith Heil / iStock.

19. Kentucky

Storms: 144

Total damage: $202.82 million

Deaths: 23

Image Credit: Wanda Jewell / iStock.

20. Ohio

Storms: 139

Total damage: $780.96 million

Deaths: 12

Image Credit: MediaMoments / iStock.

21. Wisconsin

Storms: 139

Total damage: $171.46 million

Deaths: 2

Image Credit: steverts / iStock.

22. Tennessee

Storms: 136

Total damage: $725.43 million

Deaths: 70

Image Credit: RichardBarrow / iStock.

23. North Dakota

Storms: 131

Total damage: $32.67 million

Deaths: 2

Image Credit: Meindert van der Haven / iStock.

24. South Dakota

Storms: 120

Total damage: $28.12 million

Deaths: 1

Image Credit: mdesigner125 / iStock.

25. South Carolina

Storms: 100

Total damage: $137.25 million

Deaths: 12

Image Credit: Pamela Paras / iStock.

26. Michigan

Storms: 86

Total damage: $111.82 million

Deaths: 1

Image Credit: gabes1976 / iStock.

27. Virginia

Storms: 81

Total damage: $125.74 million

Deaths: 11

Image Credit: josephgruber / iStock.

28. Wyoming

Storms: 73

Total damage: $954,000

Deaths: 0

Image Credit: mdesigner125 / iStock.

29. New York

Storms: 70 

Total damage: $57.60 million

Deaths: 6

Image Credit: Damiano LoBasso / iStock.

30. California

Storms: 70

Total damage: $26.08 million

Deaths: 0

Image Credit: DogoraSun / iStock.

31. New Mexico

Storms: 69

Total damage: $5.98 million

Deaths: 0

Image Credit: mdesigner125 /.

32. Montana

Storms: 52

Total damage: $33.06 million

Deaths: 2

Image Credit: mdesigner125 / iStock.

33. Maryland

Storms: 52

Total damage: $7.73 million

Deaths: 2

Image Credit: johnemac72 / iStock.

34. Arizona

Storms: 37

Total damage: $2.68 million

Deaths: 0

Image Credit: mdesigner125 / iStock.

35. Idaho

Storms: 25

Total damage: $37,500

Deaths: 0

Image Credit: Gert Hilbink / iStock.

36. West Virginia

Storms: 24

Total damage: $5.64 million

Deaths: 1

Image Credit: BackyardProduction / iStock.

37. Connecticut

Storms: 21

Total damage: $9.77 million

Deaths: 0

Image Credit: Heiko_Lehner_HL-PhotographME / iStock.

38. Washington

Storms: 21

Total damage: $1.9 million

Deaths: 0

Image Credit: dbvirago / iStock.

39. New Jersey

Storms: 20

Total damage: $592,000

Deaths: 0

Image Credit: tatianatatiana / iStock.

40. Maine

Storms: 20

Total damage: $2,000

Deaths: 0

Image Credit: Michael ONeill / iStock.

41. Oregon

Storms: 19

Total damage: $2.78 million

Deaths: 0

Image Credit: michaelschober / iStock.

42. Massachusetts

Storms: 18

Total damage: $243.46 million

Deaths: 3

Image Credit: wekojo / iStock.

43. Nevada

Storms: 15

Total damage: $2,000

Deaths: 0

Image Credit: Steven-Baranek / iStock.

44. New Hampshire

Storms: 13

Total damage: $5,000

Deaths: 0

Image Credit: Kirkikis / iStock.

45. Utah

Storms: 11

Total damage: $2.34 million

Deaths: 0

Image Credit: mdesigner125 / iStock.

46. Delaware

Storms: 9

Total damage: $450,000

Deaths: 0

Image Credit: mdgmorris / iStock.

47. Vermont

Storms: 5

Total damage: $70,000

Deaths: 0

Image Credit: Cavan Images / iStock.

48. Rhode Island

Storms: 3

Total damage: $1.05 million

Deaths: 0

Image Credit: diane39 / iStock.

49. Hawaii

Storms: 3

Total damage: $0

Deaths: 0

Image Credit: gcosoveanu / iStock.

50. Washington, DC

Storms: 1

Total damage: $0

Deaths: 0

Image Credit: josephgruber / iStock.

51. Alaska

Storms: 0

Total damage: $0

Deaths: 0

Image Credit: Martina Birnbaum / iStock.

Methodology

ValuePenguin collected storm data, including volume, affected states, property and crop damage and death figures, from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information, which posts storm data aggregated from the National Weather Service.

Our data reflects unique storm episodes, rather than events. In the National Weather Service’s reporting, unique episodes can have more than one event. A new event may occur when a storm crosses state lines or recedes and descends from the clouds.

This article originally appeared on ValuePenguin.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

Image Credit: ExtremeTornadoTours/facebook.com.

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