Weather disasters cost US record $306 billion in 2017: NOAA

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Weather and climate-related disasters cost the United States a record $306 billion in 2017, the third-warmest year on record, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said on Monday.

The report from the federal agency underscores the economic risks of climate change, even as President Donald Trump's administration casts doubts on the causes of it and has started withdrawing the U.S. from a global pact to combat it.

NOAA said western wildfires and hurricanes Harvey, Maria, and Irma contributed to making 2017 the costliest year on record. The previous record was $215 billion in 2005, when hurricanes Katrina, Wilma, and Rita slammed the U.S. Gulf Coast.

RELATED: Deadliest hurricanes in US history

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Deadliest hurricanes in US history
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Deadliest hurricanes in US history

Galveston Hurricane, 1900

The Category 4 storm, which made landfall in Galveston, Texas, ranks as the deadliest weather disaster in U.S. history. It killed at least 8,000 people, according to the National Weather Service. The storm also flattened thousands of buildings in the coastal city of Galveston, leaving many people homeless. The city was flooded by a storm surge more than 15 feet (4.6 meters) tall.

In this photo: Men use ropes to pull away the debris of houses in order to look for bodies after the Galveston Hurricane of 1900.

Photo by Library of Congress/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images

Okeechobee Hurricane, 1928

The Category 4 storm made landfall in Palm Beach County, Florida. An estimated 2,500 people died, but the figure could be as high as 3,000, according to the National Weather Service. The south shore of Lake Okeechobee was hit by severe flooding as a surge of water topped dikes in the area.

Photo by Planet News Archive/SSPL/Getty Images

Hurricane Katrina, 2005

The hurricane made a direct hit on New Orleans as a Category 3 storm, causing levees and flood walls to fail in dozens of places. Most of New Orleans was flooded, and some people who were stranded in their homes climbed to the roofs to await rescue. About 1,200 people died, according to the National Weather Service. Most victims were in Louisiana, but neighbouring Mississippi also was hard hit. Katrina caused an estimated $108 billion in damage, making it the costliest hurricane ever to strike the United States.

In this photo: Christian Schloegel stands amidst the rubble of his grandmothers home destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in Gulfport, Mississippi, on August 30, 2005.

Photo by Oscar Sosa/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Great New England Hurricane, 1938

The Category 3 storm made landfall in Long Island and Connecticut. It caused about 600 deaths, including off-shore fatalities, according to the National Weather Service. Parts of Massachusetts experienced wind gusts up to 186 miles per hour (299 km/h).

In this photo: Men search for bodies in the wreckage caused by the Great New England Hurricane.

Photo by Seelig/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images

Hurricane Audrey, 1957

The Category 4 hurricane struck near the Texas-Louisiana border, unleashing storm surges that reached up to 25 miles (40 km) inland in the low-lying areas, according to the National Weather Service. It killed more than 400 people.

In this photo: Wreckage shows the aftermath of Hurricane Audrey, Louisiana.

Photo by Shel Hershorn/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Florida Keys Labor Day Hurricane, 1935

The storm ripped through the Florida Keys as a Category 5 storm. It then moved north just off the western coast of Florida before turning inland and making landfall as a Category 2. More than 400 people died.

In this photo: Rescue workers search for more victims of a 100-mile-an-hour hurricane.

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Average annual temperatures for the contiguous United States were 54.6 degrees Fahrenheit (12.6 degrees Celsius), 2.6 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average and the third warmest since recordkeeping began in 1895, following 2012 and 2016, the agency said.

Scientists have long concluded that carbon dioxide and other emissions from fossil fuels and industry are driving climate change, leading to floods, droughts, and more frequent powerful storms.

Trump's administration has promised to boost U.S. oil, gas and coal production.

RELATED: Houston, Texas post-Hurricane Harvey

32 PHOTOS
Houston, Texas post-Hurricane Harvey
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Houston, Texas post-Hurricane Harvey
Ginger Benfield works to save family photos in the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in west Houston, Texas, U.S. September 11, 2017. "Memories are the hardest thing, but at least they are in your heart," said Benfield. Benfield's home flooded after controlled releases from Addicks Reservoir and neighboring Barker reservoir. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Mechanic Sebastian Ramirez pours new oil into a truck that was flooded by tropical storm Harvey in Houston, Texas, U.S. September 10, 2017. Picture taken September 10, 2017. Ramirez has worked on more than 100 flooded vehicles since the storm, but always tells the automobile owners that he can't guarantee how long the vehicle will run if he's able to fix the immediate problem. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
James Giles pauses for a moment as Do'nie Murphy gets a breath of fresh air as they clean out a Mexican restaurant that was completely immersed in water in the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in Kingwood, Houston, Texas, U.S. September 9, 2017. "We never thought it would come to this point," said Giles. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
From left, Kameron Smith, 4, Darius Smith, 9, and Deandre Green, 10, play with toys that they found in the piles of destroyed property at Crofton Place Apartments in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas, U.S. September 8, 2017. The children's apartment was destroyed by the flood waters. Picture taken September 8, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Carlos Crane, 54, of Crane's Service Center, cleans a padlock so he can lock up tools after the shop was completely immersed in water in the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in Kingwood, Houston, Texas, U.S. September 9, 2017. "Just cleaning and keep going, we take it one day at a time," he said. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Vainer Fredrick, 26, cleans out a convenience store that was completely immersed in water in the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in Kingwood, Houston, Texas, U.S. September 9, 2017. "I'm glad I'm working and making good money," said Fredrick. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Janice Young, 63, waits for FEMA outside of her Crofton Place Apartment, north Houston, in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Texas, U.S. September 8, 2017. "I lost everything I got, I thank God I didn't loose my life," she said. Picture taken September 8, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Kalacedtra Smith, eight months pregnant, is joined by her son Kameron Smith, 9, as she rests for a moment after inspecting the water damage in her Crofton Place Apartment in north Houston during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Texas, U.S. September 8, 2017. Picture taken September 8, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Jacob Chaisson, 9, and his brother Joseph Chaisson, 10, play with items that they found in the piles of destroyed property at Crofton Place Apartments in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas, U.S. September 8, 2017. Picture taken September 8, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
A pile of destroyed property surrounds a pillow with the word "Hope" inscribed on it in the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in west Houston, Texas, U.S. September 11, 2017. This neighborhood flooded after controlled releases from Addicks Reservoir and neighboring Barker reservoir. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Isom Horace, 61, sits on the from porch of his north Houston apartment in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas, U.S. September 8, 2017. Although he still has to pay rent, Horace doesn't know where he will stay the night. He can't stay in his apartment because it is so badly damaged and lined with mold and mildew. "It was like a river was running through the apartment...home sweet home," he said. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Vera Hsiung cleans off her husband, Elliot Wu's, neck and face as they clean out their home which was flooded with water for twelve days in the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in west Houston, Texas, U.S. September 11, 2017. "We're really worried about contacting disease from exposure to mold," said Hsiung. Their home flooded after controlled releases from Addicks Reservoir and neighboring Barker reservoir. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Pamela Shaffer photographs a portrait from her 1984 wedding in the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in west Houston, Texas, U.S. September 11, 2017. "It's hard to let go of these things, just pack stuff up and hope for the best," said Pamela. Shaffer's home flooded after controlled releases from Addicks Reservoir and neighboring Barker reservoir. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Savannah Shaffer (L) hugs her mother Pamela Shaffer after finding a pair of boots that weren't damaged by the flooding in the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in west Houston, Texas, U.S. September 11, 2017. "We celebrate every victory," said Pamela. The Shaffer's home flooded after controlled releases from Addicks Reservoir and neighboring Barker reservoir. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Jon Shaffer salvages what he can from his home, which was flooded for twelve days, in the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in west Houston, Texas, U.S. September 11, 2017. Shaffer's home flooded after controlled releases from Addicks Reservoir and neighboring Barker reservoir. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Francile Lovings, 52, sits on her front porch to avoid the odour of mould and mildew in her home during the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in Acres Homes, Houston, Texas, U.S. September 10, 2017. Picture taken September 10, 2017. Lovings, who is waiting for assistance from FEMA, is still sleeping in the home although it doesn't have electricity and the mould gets worst everyday. "Im just praying and hoping I can survive until I get out of this situation," said Lovings. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Cynthia Cochran plays with her granddaughter Elizabeth Thomas, 2, as her husband Edward Stanton sits by the window in their FEMA provided hotel room in the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in Houston, Texas, U.S. September 10, 2017. Picture taken September 10, 2017. Cochran, who lost all of her belongings in the flood said, "This is just another stumbling block. I don't know how I'm going to step over it, but I'm going to step." REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Joderrica Cornealius, 18, reads to her cousin, Elizabeth Thomas, 2, in a FEMA provided hotel room in the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in Houston, Texas, U.S. September 10, 2017. Picture taken September 10, 2017. Cornealius' home didn't flood, but she came to the hotel to show support to her family members who lost everything in the flood. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Dameon Horton, (L) and his father Paul Horton grill ribs outside their FEMA provided hotel room in the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in Houston, Texas, U.S. September 10, 2017. Picture taken September 10, 2017. Talking about the the flooding, Paul said, "I didn't know what to do, but I couldn't crack under pressure, I got kids, I had to go into survival mode. Texas is strong, for real, we gonna get ourselves together and get back to work." REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Elizabeth Thomas, 2, watches videos on her mother's phone outside their FEMA provided hotel room in the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in Houston, Texas, U.S. September 10, 2017. Picture taken September 10, 2017. Thomas' family lost all of their belongings in the flood and are living in a hotel room temporarily. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Quincy Smith, 59, and his wife Francile Lovings, 52, sit outside their home to avoid the odour of mould and mildew in their home during the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in Acres Homes, Houston, Texas, U.S. September 10, 2017. Picture taken September 10, 2017. The couple is waiting for assistance from FEMA. They are still sleeping in the home although it doesn't have electricity and the mould gets worst everyday. "Im just praying and hoping I can survive until I get out of this situation," said Lovings. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Mike Taylor, 59, drains water from the gas line in his car in the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in Acres Homes, Houston, Texas, U.S. September 10, 2017. Picture taken September 10, 2017. "I got it bad, I'm so hot and tired," said Taylor. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Coby Cochran, plays peek-a-boo with her daughter, Melanie Thomas, 7, outside their FEMA provided hotel room in the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in Houston, Texas, U.S. September 10, 2017. Picture taken September 10, 2017. "I'm a single mom and it's hard losing everything, but God is going to take care of us no matter what. Just live and love," said Cochran. "Momma I'm happy as long as we're together," said Melanie Thomas. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Coby Cochran, (L) and her daughter Elizabeth Thomas, 2, receive a visit in their FEMA provided hotel room from family member, Joderrica Cornealius, in the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in Houston, Texas, U.S. September 10, 2017. Picture taken September 10, 2017. "I'm a single mom and it's hard losing everything, but God is going to take care of us no matter what. Just live and love," said Cochran. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Quincy Smith, 59, is seen inside his bathroom during the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in Acres Homes, Houston, Texas, U.S. September 10, 2017. Picture taken September 10, 2017. Smith and his wife are still sleeping in the home although it doesn't have electricity and the mould gets worse everyday. "It's rough trying to live day by day, especially when you don't have any money, we're just trying to make it through until FEMA comes," said Smith. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Coby Cochran, (L) and her daughters Elizabeth Thomas, 2, and Melanie Thomas, 7, receive a visit in their FEMA provided hotel room from family members in the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in Houston, Texas, U.S. September 10, 2017. Picture taken September 10, 2017. "I'm a single mom and it's hard losing everything, but God is going to take care of us no matter what. Just live and love," said Cochran. "Momma I'm happy as long as we're together," said Melanie Thomas. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Evelyn Teague, 88, heads home after Sunday service at True Vine Missionary Baptist Church in the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in Houston, Texas, U.S. September 10, 2017. Picture taken September 10, 2017. Although no water came into Teague's home parts of her ceiling caved in. "God's taking care of me," said Teague. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Damaged property is piled up on the streets as mechanic, Sebastian Ramirez, prepares to put new oil into a truck that was flooded by tropical storm Harvey in Houston, Texas, U.S. September 10, 2017. Picture taken September 10, 2017. Ramirez has worked on more than 100 flooded vehicles since the storm, but always tells the automobile owners that he can't guarantee how long the vehicle will run if he's able to fix the immediate problem. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Paris Thomas, 3, sings along during the Sunday service at True Vine Missionary Baptist Church in the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in Houston, Texas, U.S. September 10, 2017. Picture taken September 10, 2017. Thomas' family lost all of their belongings in the flood and are living at a hotel with the assistance of FEMA. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Coby Cochran, tries to figure out how to get her daughter, Melanie Thomas, 7, to school in the morning as they spend time outside their FEMA provided hotel room in the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in Houston, Texas, U.S. September 10, 2017. Picture taken September 10, 2017. "I'm a single mom and it's hard losing everything, but God is going to take care of us no matter what. Just live and love," said Cochran. "Momma I'm happy as long as we're together," said Melanie Thomas. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Melanie Thomas, 7, wears a donated dress and shoes at the Sunday service at True Vine Missionary Baptist Church in the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in Houston, Texas, U.S. September 10, 2017. Picture taken September 10, 2017. Her family lost all of their belongings in the flood and are living at a hotel with the assistance of FEMA. "Momma I'm happy as long as we're together," said Thomas. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Paris Thomas, 3, thumbs through the Bible as she attends Sunday service at True Vine Missionary Baptist Church with her sister Elizabeth Thomas, 2, and mother, Coby Cochran, in the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in Houston, Texas, U.S. September 10, 2017. Picture taken September 10, 2017. The family lost all of their belongings in the flood and are living at a hotel with the assistance of FEMA. "I'm a single mom and it's hard losing everything, but God is going to take care of us no matter what. Just live and love," said Cochran. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
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(Reporting by Blake Brittain; Editing by Susan Thomas)

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