New Measure of Climate’s Toll: Disasters Are Now Common Across U.S.

New York Times:  The rising toll of climate change across the United States has been measured in lives lost, buildings destroyed and dollars spent on recovery. But a report released on Wednesday uses a different measure: Which parts of the country have suffered the greatest number of federally declared disasters?

That designation is reserved for disasters so severe, they overwhelm the ability of state and local officials to respond. The report finds that disasters like these have become alarmingly common.

From 2011 to the end of last year, 90 percent of U.S. counties have experienced a flood, hurricane, wildfire or other calamity serious enough to receive a federal disaster declaration, according to the report, and more than 700 counties suffered five or more such disasters. During that same period, 29 states had, on average, at least one federally declared disaster a year somewhere within their borders. Five states have experienced at least 20 disasters since 2011. Read more >>