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Insured losses from Florence estimated at $2.5B: Karen Clark

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Insured losses from what is now tropical depression Florence will total about $2.5 billion, according to an estimate Monday from Boston-based catastrophe modeler Karen Clark & Co.

The estimate is based on the company’s high-resolution U.S. Hurricane Reference Model, and includes privately insured wind, storm surge and inland flooding damage to residential, commercial and industrial properties and automobiles, KCC said in a statement, adding the figure does not include NFIP losses.

Only the North Carolina coast saw hurricane-force winds, but tropical storm force winds hit much of North and South Carolina, leading to widespread low-level damage with almost one million households losing power due to falling trees and power lines, KCC said.

Florence made landfall Sept. 14 near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, as a Category 1 storm with maximum sustained wind speeds around 90 mph after reaching peak intensity of 140 mph on Sept. 10, KCC said.

The storm did not grow to a Category 5 hurricane as expected, instead becoming a slow-moving storm as its speed dropped to 6 mph prior to landfall and dropped to as low as 2 mph once inland, bringing as much as 30 inches of rain or more to parts of North Carolina as peak storm surge reached 10 feet in New Bern, North Carolina, KCC said.