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March windstorm damage in Europe could top $1 billion


Economic and insured losses will likely exceed $ 1.0 billion as a result of damage caused by European windstorms Mike and Niklas during March, according to a report released Wednesday.

Mike and Niklas hit Western and Central Europe during the last week of March, “killing at least nine people and causing widespread damage,” Impact Forecasting, a unit of Aon Benfield Group Ltd., said in a statement.

Germany, the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria and Poland saw hurricane-force winds, with Germany sustaining the most significant damage.

“Based on preliminary damage reports from each country and local insurers, it is expected that total economic and insured losses are each likely to exceed $1.0 billion,” Impact Forecasting said in the report.

U.S convective storms in March “caused widespread hail, straight-line wind and tornado damage across parts of the Plains, Midwest and Southeast,” said the report, with total economic and insured losses expected to reach into the hundreds of millions.

A severe weather outbreak hit central portions of the U.S. March 25-26 as multiple tornadoes touched down in Arkansas and Oklahoma.

Also from March 31 to April 1, large hail, damaging straight-line winds and isolated tornadoes were all reported as damage was most concentrated in parts of Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia, according to the report.

Winter weather also hit the U.S. in parts of the Southwest, Rockies, Plains, South, Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, with economic losses estimated at $175 million and insured losses in excess of $110 million, according to the report.