Flood Damage Data

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Flood Damage in the United States, 1926-2003
A Reanalysis of National Weather Service Estimates

Table of Contents

Executive Summary
1. Introduction
   – Why We Need Historical Flood Damage Data
   – Sources of Historical Flood Damage Data
   – Scope of the NWS Flood Damage Data
   – Purpose and Methods
   – Organization
2. Sources of Flood Damage Estimates, 1926-2003
   – Overview of Historical NWS Estimates
   – Present Methods of Compiling Flood Damage Estimates
   – Sources of Historical NWS Estimates
   – Summary
3. Development of the Data Sets
   – Resolving the Data Gap, 1976-1982
   – Annual National Flood Damage Estimates (1926-1979, 1983-2000)
   – Annual Flood Damage Estimates for the States (1955-1979, 1983-2000)
   – Annual Flood Damage Estimates in River Basins (1933-1975)
   – Use of the Damage Estimates
4. Sources of Inaccuracy in the Flood Damage Data
   – Clerical Errors
   – Inconsistency in Reporting Over Time
   – Low Precision of Reported Estimates
   – Inadequate Estimation Methods
5. Accuracy of Damage Estimates
   – Errors in Early Damage Estimates
   – Comparison of Damage Estimates from NWS and States
   – Accuracy: Summary and Conclusions
6. Dealing with Data Omissions and Inconsistencies
   – Frequency of Damaging Floods at the State Level
   – Magnitude of Damages
   – Implications for Analysis of State Damages
   – Recommendations
7. Use and Interpretation of NWS Flood Damage Data
   – Analyzing Trends Over Time
   – Comparing States
   – Comparing Individual Flood Events
   – Possible Inconsistencies With Other Sources
   – Uses of the Reanalyzed NWS Damage Estimates
   – Recommendations for Future Collection of Flood Damage Estimates
List of Tables
List of Figures
Appendix A: Compilation of Damage Estimates for 1976-1979
Appendix B: Estimated Flood Damage, by State

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