The year of 2013 experienced far fewer natural disasters in the United States than expected, but Colorado was one state that saw significant damage caused by wildfires and floods, CoreLogic said Wednesday in its annual Natural Hazard Risk Summary and Analysis.
CoreLogic, a residential property information, analytics and services provider, pointed to the Black Forest Fire and flooding in Boulder and 17 Colorado counties as being among the worst natural disasters in the United States.
"Many predicted that 2013 would be a record year of catastrophic destruction, but the number of natural disasters that typically cause widespread destruction, mainly hurricanes, wildfires and tornadoes, were far less than anticipated in comparison to last year's record-setting hazard season," said Thomas Jeffery, senior principal scientist for CoreLogic.
"Interestingly, one natural hazard that tends to receive very little attention took center stage in 2013 as three separate sinkhole catastrophes took place in Florida," said Jeffrey in a statement.
However, the report indicated that the Florida sinkholes caused relatively minor damage and loss of life compared to the destruction in Colorado -- in Florida several homes collapsed, a tourist villa was heavily damaged and one man died.
On the other hand, said the report, the "most significant flooding event of the year" was a September storm in Boulder and 17 Colorado counties which caused damage to, or the destruction of, tens of thousands of homes.
The report said Colorado's Black Forest Fire, which burned 14,000 acres, destroyed or damaged more than 500 homes and resulted in a total property loss expected to exceed $300 million.
Overall, the hurricane season was almost non-existent, with only 13 named storms with only two reaching hurricane classification. Flooding, except that in Colorado, was "moderate" compared to recent years and total tornado activity in 2013 was "at a historic low," said the report.
In addition, the number of wildfires and total acreage burned in 2013 were lower than both the 2012 season and the 10-year average.
"Though there have been fewer billion-dollar catastrophes over the course of 2013, history has demonstrated time and time again that a temporary reprieve from natural disasters cannot and should not be expected to continue into the future," said Jeffrey.
Howard Pankratz: 303-954-1939, email@example.com or twitter.com/howardpankratz