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  /  World News   /  Flooding costs US billions of dollars per year: Report

Flooding costs US billions of dollars per year: Report

(NewsNation) — Amid an above-average Atlantic hurricane season, flooding is set to cost the U.S. economy hundreds of billions of dollars.

Parts of the U.S. have seen an increase in severe weather, including flooding, which cost the economy between $179.8 and $496 billion per year in 2023 dollars, according to new data from Democrats on the Senate Joint Economic Committee.

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According to the report, the damages due to flooding amount to 1-2% of U.S. GDP in 2023. This range is higher than previous estimates, which put the cost of either “a subset of the damages” or “a subset of floods” between $4.4 billion and $82.7 billion. 

According to the report, economic costs include:

$68.9 to $344.5 billion for “infrastructure upgrades needed to protect against flooding

$31.6 to $40 billion for direct commercial impacts

Up to $15.1 billion in annual damage to homes with federally backed mortgages. 

The report noted the total costs estimated should be viewed as an “undercount of the true cost,” as several costs are difficult to measure and haven’t been fully accounted for by researchers. 

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“Climate change may also increase many of the included and excluded costs going forward as heavier precipitation makes flash and river floods more damaging while rising sea levels put coastal areas at greater risk,” according to the report. Experts are suggesting that the “true total cost of flooding” lies somewhere between 0.5-2 times the range estimated in the current report. 

Hurricane season ends Nov. 30.