Flood damage from Hurricane Florence totals US$28.5 billion

Published: October 10, 2018

Updated: November 1, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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A lot has been said about Hurricane Florence, from the storm being a record event to accusations of media scaremongering and a landing that was not as powerful as predicted. Either way, Florence left a huge trail of damage in her wake and the insurance industry is now tallying the astronomical costs.

The high-end estimate for total property damage caused by Hurricane Florence is at US$45 billion, stated Moody’s Analytics.

The damage numbers are in for Hurricane Florence, and the results paint a grim picture.

The top-end estimate of property damage related to Hurricane Florence came in at around US$45 billion, according to Moody’s Analytics. Ryan Sweet and Adam Kamins of Moody’s showed how Florence was more damaging that 2016’s Hurricane Matthew because the storm also brought significant floodwaters.

“Many of the areas that experienced flooding in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew are enduring similar tribulations this fall, but the footprint appears to be significantly broader following Florence, stretching about 200 miles west from the North Carolina coast and spanning 150 miles from north to south, extending into South Carolina,” they said.

Uninsured Problem

Maximum costs for all flood losses from Hurricane Florence amounts to an estimated US$28.5 billion, according to CoreLogic. In North Carolina the flood losses totaled US$22 billion as the state bore the brunt of the rising waters. In South Carolina the estimated damage is US$5.5 billion and in Virginia estimates are at US$1 billion.

It is worth noting not all the costs will be picked up by insurance companies. Indeed, CoreLogic reports the uninsured flood loss was significant, at US$18.5 billion.

“The flood zone delineations are just wrong,” Enki Research analyst Chuck Watson told CNN. “But communities don’t like expansion of flood zones, because it makes development more expensive and difficult. So, the flood zones really don’t reflect the risk.”