National Weather Service Flood Loss Data

From NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS), this website provides annual monetary totals, adjusted to inflation each year, for national flood loss or flood damages. In addition, the website offers quick access to numerous data services provided by the NWS, including forecasts, climate predictions, and current climate observations, among others.

The website represents records of flood damages and flood fatalities for every year since 1903. Flood damages are compiled by NWS Weather Forecast Offices across the U.S. and its Territories. By March of each year, the annual figures dating back to 1903 are adjusted to inflation using the Construction Cost Index (CCI) from the McGraw Hill Construction Engineering News-Record. Finally, the annual figures are delivered to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who uses these figures to prepare a report to United States Congress.

Damage estimates come from federal, state, or county level government officials. If these estimations cannot be made, the reporting official from the NWS must approximate the damages, a method which is prone to a high degree of subjectivity and inaccuracy (according to NWS).  Damages are often underreported, and many times the information never makes it to the NWS Forecast Office responsible for reporting these figures. In addition, coastal flooding caused by storm surge is not included in the website's data.

 

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  • National Weather Service

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