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

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

Photograph by Sue Ogrocki/AP/Corbis

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#8 Ten States, 177 Tornadoes

Until April 14, the most tornadoes generated by one storm system had been 170 during two days in 2004.

This year, a single system spanning 10 central and southern states generated 177 tornadoes over three days. Thirty-eight people died. None of the twisters, which caused $2.1 billion in damages, were rated at EF4 or EF55, the most powerful categories.

"There has not been a tornado outbreak in history, over three days, with this many tornadoes," said Henry Margusity, senior meteorologist at It was a new record that, in this year of historic disasters, didn't last long.

A vehicle is left propped against a fallen tree after an overnight tornado struck Tushka, Oklahoma, on April 15.

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