A Look Back – Natural Disasters in 2016

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2016 has been a challenging year for first responders all across the nation. Natural disasters abounded. Numerous deaths can be blamed on these disasters.

All corners of the United States suffered from some type of natural disaster. These ranged from hurricanes, severe storms, flooding, blizzards, and tornadoes to wildfires and earthquakes. Let’s take a moment to look back on some of these.

Blizzards and Winter Storms


Photo: By Jim McDevitt Photographer. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

January and February gave birth to the 2016 North American winter storm. This storm created havoc from Texas to Canada, California to New England. In front of the storm, massive thunderstorms developed leading to a huge tornado outbreak.

Ohio Valley received 17 inches of snow. Southern California saw 70,000 people without electricity. The Midwest developed blizzard conditions and received over 18 inches of snow. Wolf Creek Pass got more than 23 inches of snow in 24 hours as the storm passed. Multiple feet of snow covered the mountains of Utah and Colorado.

Maximum snow depth in Glengary, West Virginia measured forty-two inches. Baltimore, Maryland recorded its largest snowfall on record.


Earthquake damage
Photo: Flickr/Thomas Hawk

In 2016, the earth shook quite a few times. Eight 5.0 and stronger earthquakes erupted across the U.S. On January 24, 2016, an earthquake measured 7.1 east of Old Iliamna, Alaska at a depth of 80.2 miles. Four homes were destroyed in Kenai after a gas leak.

A magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck offshore to the U.S. 45 miles south-southeast of Atka, Alaska on March 12, 2016. Its depth registered 11.8 miles. It was followed by a magnitude 6.0 aftershock on March 19th.

On September 3, 2016, northwest of Pawnee, Oklahoma registered the strongest earthquake ever to occur in the state. With a magnitude of 5.8, the earthquake caused injury to one person and damage to buildings in Pawnee.

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