2020 was an historic year for weather related disasters. We had a record setting hurricane season and an historic wildfire season that grabbed a lot of headlines and deployed many thousands of adjusters into the field to help victims. However, those major events somewhat overshadowed a very active year for midwest storms. From tornadoes to a very powerful derecho, policyholders from the midwest suffered many severe weather events and losses in 2020. Here are a few of the highlights.
More than 80 tornadoes and severe storms caused damage across many midwestern and southeastern states (AL, AR, GA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MS, MO, NC, OH, SC, TN, TX, VA, WI). Storms and severe flooding also impacted northern states including Michigan, Wisconsin, and New York. Significant damage occurred along the shoreline of Lake Michigan to roads, the foundation of homes, and to Port Milwaukee. These powerful waves were generated by high winds and a lack of seasonal ice cover. Total Estimated Costs: $1.1 ($1.2) Billion; 10 Deaths
On Saturday, March 28, 2020, a tornado touched down, hitting much of the midwest. A tornado ripped through northeast Arkansas and hurt some people in the college town of Jonesboro. There were tornadoes in Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin as thunderstorms swept through the area. High winds and a tornado were also reported in Indiana. These strong storms that brought tornadoes, high winds, hail, and rain to parts of the Midwest and South caused extensive damage in some areas but no deaths. Total Estimated Costs: $2.6 Billion; 0 Deaths
Numerous hail storms caused widespread damage across many
North Central and Ohio Valley states including Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Missouri. More than 20 tornadoes were also reported across southern Indiana and Ohio. There was additional widespread high wind damage to homes, vehicles, and businesses in many other surrounding states. Total Estimated Costs: $2.9 Billion; 0 Deaths
Severe weather across several Central and Eastern states including Kansas, Missouri,
Arkansas, Tennessee, and South Carolina. High wind and hail damage was notably clustered across southern Missouri and western to central Tennessee, these were the states with the highest damage totals for the event. Total Estimated Costs: $2.1 Billion; 2 Deaths
A powerful derecho traveled from southeast South Dakota to Ohio, a path of 770 miles in 14
hours producing widespread winds greater than 100 mph. The states most affected included Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Indiana and Ohio. This derecho caused widespread damage to millions of acres of corn and soybean crops across central Iowa. There was also severe damage to homes, businesses, and vehicles particularly in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In addition, there were 15 tornadoes across northeastern Illinois several affecting the Chicago metropolitan area. The greatest damage occurred in eastern Iowa, and northern Illinois, where multiple tornadoes touched down. The highest winds occurred in Iowa. Total Estimated Costs: $7.5 Billion; 4 Deaths
A large winter storm that brought blizzard conditions to the Midwest also hit much of the East Coast on Christmas Eve. The storm made travel dangerous and caused hundreds of crashes on the road, which forced the closure of interstates in South Dakota, Nebraska, and Minnesota. Central and southern Minnesota were under a blizzard warning, with 70 mph-plus wind gusts causing these blizzard conditions. The weather turned to sub-zero wind chills with reading between -20 and -35 for the Twin Cities and central Minnesota.
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