Jan 15, 2020 5:03 PM

Report: Nebraska, Iowa sustained billions in weather losses

Posted Jan 15, 2020 5:03 PM
Arial footage from the Nebraska State Patrol shows a damn break last March as a "bomb cyclone" unleashed its fury on Nebraska and Iowa.
Arial footage from the Nebraska State Patrol shows a damn break last March as a "bomb cyclone" unleashed its fury on Nebraska and Iowa.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska suffered more than $3.4 billion in losses from disastrous weather last year while the toll was $1.9 billion in neighboring Iowa, according to a federal report.

The bomb cyclone in March caused most of the damage, said the National Centers for Environmental Information, a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The rain and snowmelt runoff led to record flooding in eastern Nebraska and in Iowa, and the storm system included a blizzard that struck most of western Nebraska.

The bomb cyclone "was an unprecedented event, in scope and size and impact on the state of Nebraska," Bryan Tuma, assistant director of the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency, told the Omaha World-Herald. "I don't think we've ever quite experienced anything like this before."

The country experienced 14 weather disasters in 2019 with losses exceeding $1 billion each and totaling about $45 billion, the report issued last week said.

The Nebraska drought of 2012 was the state's costliest weather disaster, causing an estimated $4 billion in losses. Iowa's costliest year was 1993, when the state sustained more than $11 billion in losses, mostly from flooding.