Insured losses in the Carolinas estimated between $200-$400 millionAugust 28th, 2011 - 9:54 pm ICT by BNO News
NEW YORK (BNO NEWS) — Hurricane Irene is estimated to have caused between $200 million and $400 million in insured losses in the Carolinas, catastrophe modeling company EQECAT reported on Sunday. More serious damage is expected in other areas along the U.S. East Coast.
The center of Irene made landfall on Saturday at about 7.30 a.m. local time near Cape Lookout on the Atlantic coast of North Carolina. It had maximum sustained winds near 85 miles (140 kilometers) per hour, and higher gusts, making it a category one hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale of intensity.
EQECAT, in a preliminary assessment, estimated that insured losses in North and South Carolina are expected to range from $200 million to $400 million. “Although Irene was a Category 1 hurricane at landfall, the sheer size of this storm has caused severe damage from storm surge and flooding,” the company said.
Hundreds of thousands of people lost power in North Carolina due to damaged distribution lines, primarily caused by fallen trees and debris. Irene also produced heavier than initially expected rain totals, and coastal areas experienced 6 to 10 feet (1.8 to 3 meters) in storm surge.
“The estimated insured loss from this event for South Carolina and North Carolina is expected to range from $200 [million] to $400 million USD, with the bulk of the losses in North Carolina,” EQECAT said in its preliminary assessment. “Strong winds and rain are expected to continue causing damage to Virginia and states further north.”
EQECAT warned that, even though the system weakened to a tropical storm on Sunday morning, Irene remains a very dangerous storm which has ’significant’ potential to cause damage and injuries. The catastrophe modeling company expects damage in New York City and New England’s urban area to be more severe than in the Carolinas.
“The speed and size of Irene translates to extended durations of strong winds and debris; experience from Hurricane Ike (2008) reminds us that high-rise buildings pose significant vulnerability to damage from wind and debris, and the New England urban area has a large population of high-rise buildings that will be exposed to very strong winds,” the company said. “It is very likely that a landfall of Tropical Storm Irene in New York will result in larger damages and losses than those seen in North Carolina.”
It added: “The coincidence of a new moon (stronger tidal variation) during Irene will exacerbate flood and surge, and water heights may be 5 to 8 feet (1.5 to 2.4 meters) higher than normal close to New York City.”
In addition to damage, Irene also resulted in the deaths of at least four people in North Carolina alone, including a 15-year-old girl. The total death toll along the U.S. East Coast as of Sunday morning was nine.
- Hurricane Irene makes landfall in North Carolina, killing 3 - Aug 27, 2011
- Hurricane Irene slams Big Apple; leaves 3 mn powerless in US - Aug 28, 2011
- More than 800,000 without power as Hurricane Irene slams Puerto Rico - Aug 22, 2011
- US mobilises 6,500 troops for hurricane relief - Aug 28, 2011
- Obama declares emergency for New York ahead of hurricane(Lead) - Aug 27, 2011
- Obama inspects damage by hurricane Irene - Sep 05, 2011
- Hurricane Irene hits US coastal areas - Aug 27, 2011
- Hurricane Irene weakens slightly as it marches toward North Carolina - Aug 26, 2011
- Hurricane Irene slams US, millions brace for storm's fury (Lead) - Aug 27, 2011
- Americans brace for 'hurricane of historic proportions' - Aug 27, 2011
- Hurricane Irene kills four in US - Aug 28, 2011
- Hurricane Irene leaves a million US homes without power - Aug 28, 2011
- Russian carrier cancels flights to New York - Aug 27, 2011
- Tropical Storm Karl to hit Yucatan Peninsula, bringing sustained winds of up to 65 mph - Sep 15, 2010
- Hurricane Irene may be America's costliest catastrophe - Aug 31, 2011
Tags: bno, cape lookout, catastrophe, category 1 hurricane, coastal areas, dangerous storm, distribution lines, eqecat, gusts, hurricane irene, kilometers per hour, landfall, maximum sustained winds, rain totals, saffir simpson scale, sheer size, storm surge, strong winds, tropical storm, urban area