Washington, D.C. — Extreme weather and record-breaking storms, driven by climate change, were unrelenting during 2020, causing billions in damages, burning millions of acres, and killing hundreds, according to a compilation released today by Climate Power.

That devastation was felt throughout Florida, as the state faced record rainfall and flooding, including Tropical Storm Eta’s, which overwhelmed sewers and drainage canals in Southwest Florida, pouring at times three feet of water into public streets. 

The data draws a painful picture of the harm of 2020. This year, Florida saw 2 Tropical cyclones and 4 severe storms that caused a total of approximately $15 billion in damages, leaving hundreds of families, especially in the Panhandle, without power. The state also experienced its warmest year on record, and South Florida saw 86 inches of rain, surpassing the state’s yearly record by more than 20 inches. This increased rainfall led to an increase in mosquito-borne illnesses like Dengue Fever and the West Nile virus.

According to a statistical analysis done by NCEI scientists, 2020 is very likely to rank among the three-warmest years on record. September 2020 was the hottest September on the globe in 141 years of record keeping. The same is true for NovemberApril and May 2020 both tied previous temperature records. 

“Florida’s record-breaking flooding, a supercharged hurricane season, and heatwaves are a stark warning of what will happen if we don’t act boldly to address the climate crisis.  The relentless storms, climate fires, and heat impacted nearly every person living in Florida, with the disproportionate harm forced on frontline communities that have been exposed to legacy pollution and racist climate policies for decades,”  said Daniela Campos, a spokesperson for Climate Power 2020. “If we do not act, the heat, fires, and storms of 2020 will be our country’s new normal — the consequences of which will be catastrophic.”

Below is a snapshot of the climate crisis and its toll on Florida’s communities and across the country this year. You can see a full month-by-month list of climate events from 2020 HERE