Published: Sat, September 15, 2018
Science | By

Insurers Brace for $20B in Catastrophic Losses From Hurricane Florence

Insurers Brace for $20B in Catastrophic Losses From Hurricane Florence

At 11 a.m., Hurricane Florence was located about 485 miles southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina and about 520 miles east-southeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Florence's winds dropped from a peak of 140 miles per hour to 90 miles per hour on Thursday.

Beach communities in North and SC emptied out on Wednesday as Hurricane Florence threatened to unleash pounding surf and potentially deadly flooding as the most powerful storm to make a direct hit on the states in decades.

"Weather situations such as this are a test of the emergency preparedness of IT", Virginia Chief Information Officer Nelson Moe said, adding that the Virginia Information Technologies Agency, or VITA, has been working "around the clock" since last week when Florence was achieving hurricane strength near Cape Verde. "We just need to figure out how to make it through".

Forecasters said conditions would only get more lethal as the storm pushes ashore early Friday near the North Carolina-South Carolina line and makes its way slowly inland.

The Post and Courier: "Charleston area should prepare for at least some flooding from Hurricane Florence" - "While predictions show Hurricane Florence heading for North Carolina, the amount of rainfall it could send Charleston's way carries a potential for flooding. We have two boats and all our worldly possessions", said Susan Patchkofsky, who refused her family's pleas to evacuate and stayed at Emerald Isle with her husband. After its initial impact, Byard said the most serious concern will be massive rainfalls that would produce unsafe inland flooding.

"It brings multiple threats, including a massive storm surge at the coast, as well as a potentially catastrophic inland flood situation".

Florence is the most risky of three tropical systems in the Atlantic.


For anyone needing a place to stay to escape the hurricane, both North Carolina and SC are updating their lists of emergency shelters.

"All the rainfall we're going to have, plus you talk about the wind - that means a lot of trees coming down, it's a lot of power outages, a lot of impacts with this system", Graham said.

But North Carolina governor Roy Cooper warned: "Don't relax, don't get complacent". "It's weakened, but unfortunately, the eye has expanded out to a diameter now of about 30-35 nautical miles".

About 5.25 million people live in areas under hurricane warnings or watches, and 4.9 million in places covered by tropical storm warnings or watches, the National Weather Service said. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed.

A tree crashed into Kevin DiLoreto's home in Wilmington, where all roads leading to his neighbourhood were blocked by fallen trees. "Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months". Hurricane-force winds extended 80 miles from its centre, and tropical-storm-force winds up to 195 miles.

Melody Rawson evacuated her first-floor apartment in Myrtle Beach and arrived at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia, to camp for free with three other adults, her disabled son, two dogs and a pet bird.

The East Coast isn't the only area facing the brunt of a storm.

Like this: