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

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

Photograph by Jeff Willhelm/AP Photo/The Charlotte Observer

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#6 Tornado Fatalities Soar

A record 1,717 tornadoes formed in the U.S. in 2004, killing 36 people.

2011 saw fewer storms -- 1,550 -- but killed more than 15 times as many people: 552. That's almost as high as the 564 deaths during the previous 10 years, combined.

Neighbors search through the remains of two chicken houses after a line of severe storms ripped across North Carolina and nine other states on April 4-5. Nine people died and damages topped $2.8 billion.

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