WASHINGTON – After hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria blitzed the nation, most Americans think weather disasters are getting more severe and see global warming's fingerprints. A new poll from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds that 68 percent of Americans think weather disasters seem to be worsening, compared to 28 percent who think they are staying the same and only 4 percent who say they are less severe. And 46 percent of those who think it's getting worse blame man-made climate change mostly or solely for the wild weather, while another 39 percent say it's a combination of global warming and natural variability. "Just with all the hurricanes that are happening this year … it just seems like things are kind of mixed up," said Kathy Weber, a 46-year-old stay-at-home mom from Menomonie, Wisconsin. When Hurricane Nate washed ashore in the Gulf Coast earlier this month, it was one of the first storms that Greg Thompson did not evacuate for.
Less than two weeks after Hurricane Michael devastated the Florida Panhandle and other Southeastern states, the death toll is still rising. More than 35 deaths have been confirmed, CNN reported on Saturday. Weeks before Michael, Hurricane Florence ravaged the Carolinas and killed 51 people. Moody's Analytics estimated on Sept. 21 that the hurricane's economic cost will fall between $38 billion and $50 billion. This same time last year, the country was reeling after Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria together killed more than 3,000 people and cost the U.S. $270.3 billion.