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10 Costly Weather Disasters

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by: Meredith Bower
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Residents wait for Hurricane Earl to make landfall on North Carolina's Outer Banks in Sept. 2010.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

As a failsafe conversation topic, the weather never disappoints. Mention bad weather -- especially a disaster -- and the talk can go on for days.

The folks on the island of Manteo on North Carolina's Outer Banks, for example, dread the arrival of journalists because they usually bring alarming news with them. Often, reporters come to the small vacation spot before severe hurricanes. No matter the outcome, however, the island's residents end up paying the price. If the hurricane hits, they know they'll suffer losses in terms of property damage and income; at most, it will cost lives. They follow the storms closely, praying the meteorologist's predictions will be all talk.

If it seems like we're obsessed with weather, it's because there is a lot to talk about. We face trouble from hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, droughts, extreme temperatures and other potentially disastrous phenomena.

While people have discussed the weather forever, it is only in the last century or so that the cost of these events has been measured in terms of loss of life and property damage. Keep reading to learn about 10 of these costly weather disasters.

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