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Ida insured damage put at $18 billion by modeller

A new estimate from catastrophe modelling firm, Karen Clark and Company (KCC) yesterday puts the insured loss from Hurricane Ida close to $18 billion – including $40 million in the Caribbean and the rest from wind and storm surge losses in the US.

Earlier estimates from other sources had provisionally placed the losses between and $15 billion and $25 billion.

Millions of Americans have been affected, with flooding issues, together with food, water, power and shelter insecurity.

Based on the high-resolution KCC Caribbean and US Hurricane Reference Models, the flash estimate includes the privately insured damage to residential, commercial, and industrial properties and automobiles. It does not include boats, offshore properties, or National Flood Insurance Program losses.

The company said Ida passed over the Cayman Islands with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph, strengthened into a hurricane and hit Cuba with 80 mph winds, then maintained hurricane strength over the Gulf of Mexico.

It strengthened even further when, just off the Louisiana coast, it reached even warmer waters along with high amounts of environmental moisture and low wind shear, which together enabled rapid intensification before the storm made landfall.

Maximum sustained winds increased by 65 mph over 24 hours.

Hurricane Ida made landfall near Port Fourchon, Louisiana, with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph on the afternoon of August 29. Once inland, weakening began, and Ida was downgraded to a tropical storm early the next morning near the Louisiana-Mississippi border, and fell to tropical depression status later that day over central Mississippi.

The report said: “Peak storm surge from Hurricane Ida exceeded eight feet along the Louisiana coast, and lower levels of storm surge were seen from the central Louisiana coast to Mobile, Alabama.

“The majority of the New Orleans levee system kept the potentially damaging inundation at bay with some exceptions. A small levee near Lafitte overtopped, resulting in extensive inundation, and LaPlace, located near the shores of Lake Pontchartrain, also experienced significant flooding.

“Coastal segments of Highway 90, connecting the Louisiana and Mississippi coast, were made impassable by flooding from storm surge.”

In the aftermath of Hurricane Ida people line up for food and ice at a distribution center Wednesday, in New Orleans, La. Louisiana residents, still reeling from flooding and damage caused by Hurricane Ida, are scrambling for food, gas, water and relief from the oppressive heat. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

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Published September 02, 2021 at 7:59 am (Updated September 02, 2021 at 7:59 am)

Ida insured damage put at $18 billion by modeller

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