The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is calling the August derecho the most expensive thunderstorm event in modern history.
As part of NOAA’s Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters list, the August derecho is estimated to have caused $7.5 billion in damages.
The storm 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.
The storm 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. In addition, there were 15 tornadoes across northeastern Illinois, with several affecting the Chicago metropolitan area.
While noting wildfire damages are to be determined, NOAA says the thunderstorm is second to Hurricane Laura in 2020, which caused $14 billion in damages. Other 2020-billion-dollar weather events include tornado outbreaks in the Southeast and Tennessee, and several severe thunderstorm events this spring.