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Northwest storm losses could top $500M: AIR

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Northwest storm losses could top $500M: AIR

BOSTON—Insured losses from the winter storm that raked the Pacific Northwest could surpass $500 million, according to an estimate released last week by risk modeler AIR Worldwide Corp.

The storm, which occurred Dec. 14-15, packed wind gusts of more than 90 mph and heavy precipitation triggered some flash flooding. It was the worst storm to strike the region in nearly 13 years, when severe weather hit the Northwest on Inauguration Day, 1993, said Peter Dailey, Boston-based AIR's director of atmospheric science for research and modeling, in a statement announcing the loss estimate.

"The wind speeds observed from (the) storm were similar or a bit higher than those of the 1993 storm but were more widespread, extending south to Oregon and east to Montana, so total damage is likely to be higher," Mr. Dailey added in his statement.

Most of the damage was caused by wind, according to AIR, which is a unit of Jersey City, N.J.-based Insurance Services Office Inc.