In these blogs, we’ve often cited the costly damage that can occur as a result of undetected water leaks. According to a website called FIXr, The average range for residential water damage repair is $1,200 to $5,000, with the average cost hovering around $3,000.

This is specifically why we created SimpleSENCE (and the next-generation Capteur with the 3-foot, fully sensing tail for extended detection): to find hidden leaks before they can lead to water damage that can then lead to all kinds of hardships, with the primary one being the financial hit.

Of course, being as curious as we are, it got us thinking about the costs incurred by real floods – the kind that level entire cities. No doubt, a few thousand dollars out of your pocket as a result of a water event would represent a major monetary setback. But can you even imagine the financial crisis that would arise out of a true world-class flood – not to mention the depth of destruction it would leave in its wake?

We did a little research and found the top 10 most expensive floods in recorded history. Here they are, ranked according to their economic impact:

Rank                            Flood                           Economic Damage (in billion U.S. dollars)

1                                  Thailand (8/5/2011)                                        45.0

2                                  China (7/1/1998)                                             30.0

3                                  China (5/29/2010)                                           18.0

4                                  India (9/3/2014)                                              16.0

5                                  Korea Dem P Rep (8/1/1995)                         15.0

6                                  Germany (5/28/2013)                                      12.9

7                                  China (6/30/1996)                                           12.6

8                                  U.S. (6/24/1993)                                              12.0

9                                  Germany (8/11/2002)                                      11.6

10                                U.S. (6/9/2008)                                                10.0    


Topping the list is Thailand, which was hit the hardest financially by the devastating power of rising waters. On August 5, 2011, the landfall of the Nock-Ten tropical storm hit the areas around the country’s Chao Phraya and Mekong river basins. Even the capital city of Bangkok was left with severe damage after the torrential rainfall that lasted – get this - nearly half a year.

According to World Bank data, the estimated economic damage from the Thailand flood was about $45 billion USD – a full 50% more than the second-worst event on the list. In fact, on an international scale, this was the fourth costliest natural disaster of any form ever recorded. Only three others surpassed it – the 2011 Tohoku earthquake in Japan, the 1995 Kobe earthquake and Hurricane Katrina that hit the States in 2005.

The second and third most devastating floods both occurred in China, hitting the country very hard both in terms of destroying infrastructure and straining financial resources. During a flood that occurred on July 1, 1998, China spent more than $30 billion USD on healthcare, repairs, new housing and governmental costs for real estate restorations directly related to the flood.

The second-worst flood in China occurred in 2010. On May 29, the country was once again struck by the wrath of the clouds. Official reports say that the flood had a negative impact on more than 134 million people. The three Chinese floods that have made the list have combined to cause financial damages totaling more than $60 billion USD, making the country one of the most severely affected by natural disasters in modern times.

Only two non-Asian countries made this list: Germany and the United States. The German flood on May 28, 2013 comes in at the sixth position due to the fact that its wrath inflicted $12.9 billion USD worth of damage to the economy. Another, similar flooding event had taken place in Germany in 2002, with that deluge causing a total loss of $11.6 billion USD.

Like Germany, the United States suffered chart-worthy damages from two separate floods. After a major flood in 1993, the funds necessary to repair all property and return the region back to normal totaled $12 billion USD. Another U.S. flood around Iowa in 2008 caused damages worth $10 billion USD.

What is the takeaway from these staggering numbers, both in terms of dollars lost and the lives affected? We assure you our intent was not to depress you, or to give you a case of aquaphobia. Or even a case of bibliophobia (an intense fear of reading).

No, the point is to highlight the formidable power of earth’s most valuable natural resource, unleashed. We can help you prevent the damage caused by hidden, in-home water leaks. But when Mother Nature decides to flex her muscles, it’s best to just try and get out of her way.