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Severe weather caused nearly $4 billion in damage in Tennessee, report says

Severe weather caused nearly $4 billion dollars in damage in Tennessee across 2020, according to a new report.
People work to salvage items Tuesday, March 3, 2020, near Cookeville, Tenn. Tornadoes ripped...
People work to salvage items Tuesday, March 3, 2020, near Cookeville, Tenn. Tornadoes ripped across Tennessee early Tuesday, shredding more than 140 buildings and burying people in piles of rubble and wrecked basements. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)(WVLT)
Published: Jan. 18, 2021 at 7:15 PM EST
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF/WVLT) — Severe weather caused nearly $4 billion dollars in damage in Tennessee across 2020, according to a new report.

The report, released from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), included damage from the March 2020 tornadoes. According to WTVF, those did $2.5 billion in damage and was listed as one of 22 “Billion Dollar Disasters” of the year.

The $4 billion was, according to NOAA, the second-highest total for the state since the organization started keeping track of such data in 1980. The only year with a higher total was 2011.

“We had a very active season from the very beginning of the year, and with a tornado impacting the Nashville Metro area, it was bound to be a very expensive year,” National Weather Service Meteorologist Brittney Whithead said. She told WTVF that Tennessee was uniquely at risk to extreme weather events.

“The Southeast in general, and especially Tennessee, is vulnerable to pretty much any kind of weather event,” Whithead said.

In Knoxville, climate experts with NOAA say the city and the area could see a wetter climate along with shorter winters as global temperatures rise.

“When temperatures go up, it’s likely temperature extremes go up, heat waves may become more often. Then days over 90 degrees, potentially 100 degrees in Knoxville will become more common. Heavy rainfall is going to become more common and there’ll be impacts to things like tropical storms as well,” said Russell Vose with NOAA.

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