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Hurricane Maria losses could hit $85 billion: AIR

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Insured losses from last week’s Hurricane Maria, which is headed to waters off North Carolina and Virginia, will be between $40 billion and $85 billion, with Puerto Rico alone accounting for more than 85% of the loss, said catastrophe modeling firm AIR Worldwide Monday.

Hurricane Maria compounded the damage done by Hurricane Irma two weeks earlier, said the statement by the Boston-based unit of Verisk Analytics Inc. While it spared a few islands devastated by Irma, it brought additional destruction to others, and wrecked some locations that were not hit by Irma, AIR said. The modeling firm previously estimated that insured losses from Irma would be between $32 billion and $50 billion.

Maria was a Category 4 when it made landfall on Puerto Rico early Wednesday, with maximum sustained winds of 155 mph, inundating the territory with more than 18 inches of rain in some locations, the statement said.

The storm has left more than 3 million people in Puerto Rico without electricity, drinking water and gas.

It is expected to become a tropical storm by Tuesday night, and bring coastal flooding, high winds and rain to parts of the North Carolina coast and Virginia Tidewater through Wednesday.