BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — As we enter the early months of 2023, many of us are concerned about the possibility of more major blizzards causing winter damage — especially after the storm . But just how bad were the storms in 2022, and how does the damage they caused stack up to the damages experienced around the rest of the US last year?
A study by ValuePenguin analyzed the total amounts of winter weather damages and fatalities between 2013 and 2022 to find out just how bad the damage has been not just over the previous year, but the previous decade as well.
When it comes to the states with the most winter damage in 2022, North Dakota not only takes first place, but does so to a monstrous degree: the total cost of damages in North Dakota dwarf the total in the #2 position by over six times. When one looks back at the multiple blizzards we experienced in 2022, it’s easy to see why.
|Rank||State||Total Winter Property Damage in 2022|
On its own, ND accounted for 93.5% of all of 2022’s winter property damages, making it a major source of total costs. In spite of this, it’s important to note that as far as overall winter damages go, 2022 — and even North Dakota itself — are far cries from the states with the most winter damage over the last decade. In fact, ND doesn’t even reach the top ten states that have suffered the most expensive winter damages from 2013-2022. The state ranks only 11th in the list of states that have experienced the largest amount of damage over the previous ten years, totaling at $70,727,000 (meaning a majority came from 2022 alone).
To extend the idea even further, while 2022 may have been a bad year for North Dakota, in terms of damages, it’s actually one of the years with the lowest amount of overall damage compared to the previous decade. ND doesn’t even reach the top twelve on the list of states with the most winter-related deaths either — suggesting that the freak blizzards in early 2022 were extremely monstrous outliers more than dire warnings of things to come.
If you’re hoping to mitigate winter damages this season, it might be a good idea to take a look at some of the most common mistakes that people make when it comes to dealing with harsh winters. ServiceMaster Restore has provided us with a list of five common mistakes that people make during the winter that can lead to injury or property damage. Be sure to keep these in mind when preparing to weather the storms!
Packing the wrong survival tools
Make sure your survival kit has the best possible tools. ServiceMaster recommends rock salt to melt ice on walkways, sand to improve traction, snow shovels, heating fuel, and plenty of extra clothing and blankets.
Using an electric generator indoors
While it seems like a good idea on the surface, operating a generator in the house, garage, or near an air intake is a bad idea due to a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Not stocking the emergency pantry
Icy roads can make travel to the supermarket impossible, and if power lines go down, you might be hungry if your food stores aren’t ready. Keep a pantry of canned, pre-prepared, or non-perishable food that does not need to be cooked (at least a week’s worth) in case the electricity in your house ceases to work. It might be a good time to invest in a non-electric can opener.
Not having extra water
Extreme cold can cause water pipes to freeze up, and occasionally shatter. Always keep a supply of water on hand in addition to a fully-stocked pantry, just in case your pipes stop working.
Leaving pets and animals outdoors
Whether you’re a farmer or pet owner, make sure your animals are taken care of. Bring house pets inside (and ensure they stay inside) during winter weather, and move other animals (like livestock) into sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water.
In order to view the full study and list of states with the most winter damages, visit ValuePenguin’s results page here.