Year of Misfortune: Top 12 Billion-Dollar U.S. Disasters

By Tom Randall - 2011-12-21T20:11:59Z

Photograph by Paul Colletti/AP Photo/The Dispatch

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#9 Missouri River Floods

The Missouri River broke its 99-year-old record for flood height -- by several feet -- in North Dakota in June. Waters idled 130 oil wells near the city of Williston.

Downstream, thousands of sandbags turned a nuclear power plant outside Omaha into an island amid rising waters. The plant remained closed for more than six months.

Floodwaters breached levies and inundated thousands of acres of farmland in Iowa. In Davenport, Iowa (pictured), the flood surrounded a minor league baseball stadium but couldn't deter the Quad Cities River Bandits from playing the Peoria Chiefs. People entered the stadium by a 300-yard walkway.

Five people died and estimated losses topped $2 billion. Western Canada also experienced $1 billion in damages.

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