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US Irma damage expected to reach $18 billion in the US

05:23  14 september  2017
05:23  14 september  2017 Source:   miamiherald.com

When and Where Is Tropical Storm Jose Going To Hit?

  When and Where Is Tropical Storm Jose Going To Hit? Tropical Storm Jose is the 10th storm of this year’s hurricane season and could reach the East Coast of the U.S.Just as the United States braces for potential damage caused by the impending Hurricane Irma, yet another tropical storm has formed in the Atlantic Ocean. On Tuesday, Tropical Storm Jose became the 10th storm of this year’s hurricane season.

Karen Clark & Co., a Boston firm that analyzes risk, has estimated damages from Hurricane Irma could total billion, with $ 18 billion in losses across the Southeast, mostly in Florida. Help us deliver journalism that makes a difference in our community.

MIAMI—Insured losses from Hurricane Irma could total $ 18 billion in the U . S ., far less than anticipated when the storm was barreling toward Florida’s east coast as a Category 4 monster but still among the nation’s worst.

Damaged boats in Key West after Hurricane Irma hit the Florida Keys, on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017.© (Mike Stocker/Sun-Sentinel/TNS) Damaged boats in Key West after Hurricane Irma hit the Florida Keys, on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017. MIAMI—Insured losses from Hurricane Irma could total $18 billion in the U.S., far less than anticipated when the storm was barreling toward Florida's east coast as a Category 4 monster but still among the nation's worst.

Karen Clark and Co., a Boston-based company that analyzes risk, estimated total losses, including the Caribbean, at $25 billion. Florida accounts for most of the $18 billion in the U.S., followed by Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama. The estimate covers damage to buildings and their contents, other insured structures, and vehicles and the disruption to business. It does not include crop losses or losses covered by the nation's flood insurance program, Clark said.

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Damaged boats in Key West after Hurricane Irma hit the Florida Keys, on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017. MIAMIInsured losses from Hurricane Irma could total $ 18

The estimate also does not cover the total cost of the storm, which can be a trickier number to calculate, she said.

"It would include infrastructure: damage to roads, beach erosion, cleanup efforts. All these other things that go into total economic loss, which are squishier numbers. I don't know of any organization that tallies that."

At that amount, Irma falls just outside the top 10 list and above the $15.4 billion Clark estimated for Harvey's losses. The 1926 Miami hurricane still ranks as the worst in the U.S., according to Clark's tally, with losses in today's dollars totaling $150 billion. That's followed by the 1928 hurricane that struck Lake Okeechobee at $77 billion, the 1900 hurricane in Galveston at $60 billion and 2005's Katrina, which generated $59 billion in insured losses, she said.

FEMA warns funds almost depleted as Congress works out agreement

  FEMA warns funds almost depleted as Congress works out agreement As Congress nears agreement on emergency hurricane spending, the Federal Emergency Management Agency warned lawmakers it is "getting close" to depleting its aid, federal officials said Thursday. On the heels of Hurricane Harvey striking Texas, in what could be the most expensive disaster in history, Hurricane Irma is bearing down on Florida. Emergency aid is moving faster than in past disasters because of the scope of Harvey and because electronic payments allow for faster disbursement.&nbsp;As Congress nears agreement on emergency hurricane spending, the Federal Emergency Management Agency warned lawmakers it is "getting close" to depleting its aid, federal officials said Thursday.

Irma became the second Category 4 storm to strike the U.S. in less than a month when it made landfall Sunday morning on Cudjoe Key and the first Cat 4 in Florida since 2004's Charley. Irma will also go down as one of the Atlantic's strongest hurricanes on record, with peak winds of 185 mph lasting 37 hours.

After South Florida was forecast as a potential target for a Cat 4 Irma, Clark told clients that losses could rise as high as $150 billion.

"That is the worst location for a major storm," she said. "A strong Cat 4 on that track? Yes, it would be over $150 billion."

After Irma began to weaken, potential losses dropped significantly. Irma also turned out to be a much dryer storm than the worst case scenarios forecasters warned about, with severe storm surge in Tampa and St. Petersburg never materializing. In wet storms like Katrina and Harvey, flood losses, which are usually not insured, can be much higher.

Irma delivered her worst blow to the Keys, which the storm struck with 130 mph sustained winds. Most of that was limited to mobile homes, roofs and windows, light structures and signs, Clark said. Outside the Keys, damage was mostly caused by falling trees. Once the storm crossed into the Gulf, it weakened considerably as it ran up the coast, although homes in Everglades City were hit hard.

The storm also triggered surprisingly severe coastal flooding farther north in Jacksonville and Charleston, where Irma's surge coincided with high tide and heavy rain. In Jacksonville, the St. Johns River rose to almost six feet, and rain totals reached 11 inches.

Trump to visit Florida Thursday to survey Irma damage .
President Trump will travel to Florida on Thursday to survey the damage caused by Hurricane Irma, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced Tuesday.Sanders did not offer other details about the t rip, including where exactly the president will travel in the state. First Lady Melania Trump is expected to join the president on the visit. The Federal Aviation Administration posted a travel advisoryTuesday that covers Fort Myers, located on Florida's West Coast. The VIP Movement notification is typically issued before the president travels to a destination in the U.S.

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