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John Wheeler, WDAY, Published May 09 2013

Weather Talk: Congress has spent $136B on disaster relief in 3 years

According to a report last week in The Washington Post, the U.S. Congress has spent $136 billion on disaster relief in the past three years, most of that on hurricanes, floods and droughts. This works out to about $400 per household per year.

The costs are spread out over a number of federal agencies. FEMA has spent

$55 billion on general relief and flood insurance. The Department of Agriculture has spent $27 billion on crop insurance. Flood control project costs of $7 billion ran through the Army Corps of Engineers, all of this over the past three years.

The past three years have seen a large number of particularly costly weather disasters, including the Southern Plains drought in 2012 and Superstorm Sandy last fall. However, the increase disaster spending has been a trend over several decades as the population increases and more people live in disaster-prone areas such as flood plains, coastal areas and fire-prone regions out west.

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