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Hurricane Barry : flood little expensive for the insurers

by

Frédérique De Simone

22 July 2019 13:30

The economic damage totals caused by hurricane Barry are still in evaluation. They are expected to reach hundreds of millions of us dollars. However, the event should be negligible for insurers, since most of the damage is related to flooding, says Aon in its weekly Report on natural disasters.

Hurricane Barry, the first storm of the hurricane season in the Atlantic, made landfall near Intracoastal City, Louisiana, on the 13th of July. Briefly classified as a category 1 storm by the national hurricane Center (NHC), Barry was immediately downgraded into a tropical storm as soon as it enters Louisiana. “Barry has aroused more fear than harm “, according to Aon.

The damage

Barry caused flooding in Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi, in the wake of heavy rainfall. Several rivers of the Mississippi river engulfed their banks, so that their water level was already high due to rainfall, above average, fallen in the previous months. Flood waters have covered hundreds of square kilometres of agricultural land of the State.

In Louisiana, the floods notables have taken place along the river Atchafalaya to Morgan City. Excessive rainfall have also led to the overflow of the Lower Dularge East Levee and approximately 400 residents were evacuated.

Record for a tropical storm

The torrential rains have led to multiple wastewater discharges in Alabama. In total, more than 250,000 gallons of wastewater spilled along the coast, including the cities of Daphne and Mobile.

Flash floods have been reported in most parts of the south-west of the Arkansas. The parks of the counties of Howard, Clark, and Pike are among the most affected. One hundred properties are affected.

Aon reports that the rainfall during the passage of Barry exceeded 254 millimetres of water in 4 days, that is, between the 13 and 16 July. A total non-official estimates that 421 millimeters of water have fallen near Dierks, Arkansas. This would put Barry in the title of tropical cyclone has caused the most precipitation in Arkansas since 1950.

It is also the third consecutive year in which tropical cyclones set a new american record. This was the case for Harvey in 2017. He dropped 1625,6 mm of water in Texas. In 2018, Florence, for its part, left 889 mm in North Carolina and 584,20 mm in South Carolina.

The damage caused by the wind are in large part attributable to fallen trees on homes and vehicles. At the height of the event, nearly 115,000 customers were without electricity in Louisiana. In addition, severe storms, convective, has caused new storms and floods in some parts of Tennessee and Missouri. No one was seriously injured or fatal) were reported.

Its trajectory changed has reduced the damage

The national hurricane Center had, a few days earlier, suspected the formation of a tropical cyclone of category 2 in the northern gulf of Mexico, caused by a group of storm in the valley of the Tennessee, which was exceptionally moved down to the south, to finish his race in Florida before reaching the Gulf.

The NHC was calling for a further intensification as the system followed in the warm waters and had the atmospheric conditions favourable to the altitude. The system was officially designated a tropical storm with winds of 65 km/h as it moved towards the West. Barry has strengthened as expected due to training of dry air in the center of the movement and the arrival of a shear of the north wind, who has left the storm largely disorganized.

States of emergency have been declared in Louisiana and Mississippi.

Elsewhere in the world

The monsoon has caused heavy rains and flooding in Nepal, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Floods have also caused damage in China. More than a thousand houses and hectares have been destroyed. The costs will exceed hundreds of millions of dollars.

On the 14th of July, Indonesia was hit by an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.3, damaging more than 2,500 buildings.

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