2011 Year in Review: World Events
China Surpasses U.S. Manufacturing to Become World's Largest Producer
In March, China accounted for 19.8 percent of all of the world's manufacturing, compared to 19.4 percent for the United States, making it the largest manufacturer in the world. It was the first time any nation surpassed the U.S. in the post-war period. It was the first of many signs in 2011 of China's burgeoning economy. Despite producing more as a nation, it was revealed that China's proportion of manufacturing was larger than any other country, while U.S. workers were "generating eight times the value per person than China's."
Tornadoes in U.S. South Kill Hundreds, Shut Down Businesses
Late April saw nearly 300 tornadoes appear in the U.S. South and Southeast, shutting down entire towns and killing hundreds in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee and Virginia. Promotional products supplier Gold Bond was forced to shut down its plant due to the severe weather, and several automobile manufacturers in the area also idled plants due to power failures and safety concerns.
Hurricane Irene Strikes East Coast
Hurricane Irene made U.S. landfall on August 27, hitting North Carolina's Outer Banks in the early morning. At its strongest a Category 3 storm, it was lowered to Category 1 by the time it hit North America. Despite that, the storm still caused considerable destruction, totaling over $7 billion in damage as it made its way up the East Coast. The storm touched down on each coastal state between North Carolina and Maine over the weekend. Prior heavy rains in upstate New York and New England made the areas especially susceptible, and flooding was seen in many parts following the Hurricane. At least 47 American deaths were attributed to the storm.
Tropical Storm Lee Floods Northeast
Less than two weeks after Hurricane Irene, the Northeast United States suffered more severe rainfall in early September. Regions in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania experienced record flooding, with some cities completely shutting down and evacuating. A state of emergency was declared in each state, and some suppliers such as Points of Light were forced to close due to the flooding, as nearby rivers overflowed into the streets.