SUNDAY, APRIL 21, 2019
Hurricane Florence 2018
9/18/2018 9:00:00 AM
Type of postingPosting date:time ESTSummaryScenariosDownloads
Post Landfall 29/21/2018 12:30:00 PM 
Post Landfall 19/18/2018 9:00:00 AM 
Landfall 9/14/2018 11:00:00 AM 
Pre-Landfall 39/13/2018 10:30:00 AM 
Pre-Landfall 29/12/2018 12:30:00 PM 
Pre-Landfall 19/11/2018 2:00:00 PM 
Posting Date: 9/18/2018 9:00:00 AM

AIR estimates that industry insured losses resulting from Hurricane Florence’s winds and storm surge will range from USD 1.7 billion to USD 4.6 billion. Note that these estimates do not include the impact of the ongoing flooding from Hurricane Florence’s unprecedented precipitation.

ALERT™ subscribers can now download Touchstone®, CATRADER®, and Touchstone Re event sets, loss-based SSEs, and wind and surge shapefiles of the median event for Hurricane Florence from the Downloads tab. The SSEs should be used only for exposures in South Carolina and North Carolina.

The current estimates include wind and storm surge damage within the extent of Florence’s tropical storm–force and hurricane-force wind field. Included in the estimates are onshore residential, commercial, and industrial properties and their contents, automobiles, and time element coverage (additional living expenses for residential properties and business interruption for commercial properties). See below for additional information:

AIR’s modeled insured loss estimates for the United States include:

  • Insured physical damage to property (residential, commercial, industrial, auto), both structures and  their contents
  • Additional living expenses (ALE) for residential claims
  • For residential lines, 5% of modeled storm surge damage as wind losses
  • For commercial lines, insured physical damage to structures and contents, and business interruption directly caused by storm surge (other flood losses are not modeled or reflected in estimates; business interruption losses include direct and indirect losses for insured risks that experience physical damage)
  • For the automobile line, estimates reflect AIR’s view that insurers will pay 100% of the storm surge damage
  • 2018 indexed take-up rates

AIR’s modeled insured loss estimates do not include:

  • Precipitation-induced flood
  • Losses paid out by the National Flood Insurance Program
  • Losses resulting from the  compromise of existing defenses (e.g., natural and man-made levees)
  • Losses to uninsured properties
  • Losses to infrastructure
  • Losses to inland marine, marine cargo and hull, and pleasure boats
  • Losses from extra-contractual obligations
  • Losses from hazardous waste cleanup, vandalism, or civil commotion, whether directly or indirectly caused by the event
  • Other non-modeled losses, including those resulting from tornadoes spawned by the storm
  • Losses for U.S. offshore assets and non-U.S. property

Hurricane Florence Recap

Hurricane Florence, once a Category 4 storm, made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, at about 7:15 a.m. on Friday, as a Category 1 storm with 90 mph winds. The minimum central pressure at landfall was 958 mb, which is more typical of a Category 3. However, as Florence approached the East Coast, it grew in size, and exhibited multiple wind maxima which are found in storms with abnormally low central pressure for a given maximum wind speed. As a consequence, strong winds extended well north of the landfall location up to the Outer Banks and into Pamlico Sound, which caused a high storm surge in this area.

Also, its slow movement—it progressed at between 3 and 6 mph on Friday—has ensured, however, that its principal impact will be from the excessive precipitation being deposited over an extremely wide area.

Storm surge of up to 11 feet was anticipated between Cape Fear and Cape Hatteras, including the Neuse and Pamlico rivers and western Pamlico Sound, through multiple high-tide cycles east of Florence’s center into the weekend. A USGS gauge in Emerald Isle, North Carolina, recorded 6.1 feet above normal water levels and a 10-foot surge was reported in New Bern, North Carolina.

With precipitation still occurring, more than 30 inches of rain has already fallen on Swansboro, N.C., according to preliminary reports from the National Weather Service, breaking the record set by Hurricane Floyd in 1999, and 35.93 inches has fallen in Elizabethtown, North Carolina. Many other locations report receiving more than 20 inches. Several bodies of water have risen above record levels and some of the gauges used to record river levels have been submerged, with at least two being reported as having stopped working.

Reported Damage and Disruption

Reported wind damage in the affected area is consistent with that of a Category 1 hurricane, including downed trees causing damage to homes and automobiles; downed utility poles; and shingle loss with isolated cases of more extensive roof damage. Many thousands of people had been evacuated from their homes ahead of the storm, and hundreds have been rescued from flooded homes and at least 18 people have died. There has been a report of looting in Wilmington, North Carolina, which remains completely cut off by floodwater. More than 1 million customers were reported to have lost power by Saturday, and for coastal communities in particular, utility outages may last for weeks. The collapse of a coal ash landfill at the closed Sutton Power Station outside Wilmington, North Carolina, is raising environmental concerns.

Airlines canceled more than 2,100 U.S. flights between Wednesday and Sunday. Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, the region's two largest airports, had more than 200 cancellations on Friday. Charleston International Airport in South Carolina was not expected to reopen until Monday night.

The heavy rainfall deposited by Florence has caused widespread riverine and flash flooding in many parts of North Carolina and South Carolina. Flooded and damaged roads are hampering recovery efforts; more than 100 roads are reported closed in North Carolina, including parts of interstates 95 and 40. Some dams and levees in the region are reportedly showing signs of distress; a dam in Hoke County, North Carolina, west of Fayetteville, has failed and the Lake Corriher levee experienced a partial breach.

Rainfall is expected to continue across the Carolinas and Delmarva into Tuesday, and flooding may worsen in many locations across South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia as precipitation continues to fall on saturated ground and runoff drains slowly toward the coast. In North Carolina all 100 counties were under at least one type of National Weather Service alert for Sunday or the next few days. Flooding on some rivers may not begin to ease until the end of the week.


Hurricane Florence 2018
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