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Tornadoes hit several states, losses mount

Tornadoes hit several states, losses mount

HARRISBURG, Ill.—A series of tornadoes ripped through several states last week, resulting in destruction and millions in insured losses from the first round of storms alone, according to one catastrophe risk modeler.

Preliminary storm reports indicated the Leap Day tornadoes caused damage across seven states, with significant damage reported in Harrisburg, Ill., and Branson, Mo., said Matthew Nielsen, model product manager at Newark, Calif.-based catastrophe modeler Risk Management Solutions Inc.

“This is an event where, from an insured perspective, (losses) will probably be at most in the tens to hundreds of millions,” he said, though his estimate came before additional tornadoes caused more damage last Friday afternoon.

In Harrisburg, where authorities said six of the 13 people killed were located, winds up to 180 mph damaged or destroyed 25 businesses and more than 200 homes, according to National Weather Service.

Other catastrophe modelers had not yet released estimates late last week.