15 Jan It Could Have Been Worse
It Could Have Been Worse
The 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season was one for the record books. There were 17 named storms; 10 became hurricanes. Six of those 10 were major storms – earning a rating of Category 3 (with winds of 111-129 mph), 4 (winds o f130-156 mph) or 5 (maintained wind speed of 157 mph or higher) of the Saffir Simpson scale.
- Hurricane Harvey, which hit Houston on DATE dumping a record 60 inches of rain on Texas, was the first major hurricane to hit the continental U.S. since Hurricane Wilma swept up Florida’s east coast in 2005.
- Hurricane Irma was the second. This massive storm stalked the state of Florida for days as a Category 5 storm. With sustained winds of 157 mph or more, catastrophic damage will occur with a Category 5. According to the Saffir Simpson wind scale, “A high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and wall collapse. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.”
Fortunately for Floridians on both coasts, two factors kept the worst from happening. Irma’s track shifted, sending the storm over the island of Cuba, where the mountains sapped some of its energy. The westward wobble the storm took as it neared Florida shifted the track again, sparking the major population centers in South Florida from the storm’s full fury.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that its forecasting abilities continued to improve. “Though it was a furious season, NOAA issued early and reliable forecasts to communities in the path of this year’s storms,” the agency said in a statement. “NOAA’s preliminary data show that the National Hurricane Center issued forecasts with record-setting accuracy. And track forecasts for the three most damaging hurricanes were about 25 percent more accurate than average.”
In the same statement, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said, “Throughout this devastating hurricane season, NOAA provided vital forecasts and data that helped save many lives. I commend the scientists and forecasters who worked long hours tracking every storm and
As Insurance Journal reported, the 2017 season was the first season in which three Category 4 storms hit U.S. shores. (Hurricane Maria, which made landfall in Puerto Rico on Wednesday, September 20 with sustained winds of 155 mph, just 2 mph shy of Category 5 strength, was the third.)
Based on costs tallied by disaster modelers Chuck Watson and Mark Johnson, the Insurance Journal determined the 2017 U.S. Atlantic hurricane season was “officially the most expensive ever, racking up $202.6 billion in damages.”
Sadly, there are always those who will try to capitalize on the misery and misfortune of others. In fact, estimates indicate that 10% of all property claim payouts are fraudulent – including those made in the wake of natural disasters like Hurricane Irma. While others were waiting for the electricity to come back on, scam artists and crooks were thinking of ways to make a quick buck.
Buchanan Investigation Group’s team of experienced Florida private investigators have weathered the storm! Imagine having a private investigator in Boca Raton who evacuated during Hurricane Irma, a private investigator in Fort Lauderdale, FL who went without power for 9 days and a private investigator in St. Augustine, FL who volunteered at an evacuation shelter on your side. When it comes to property claims investigations, our private investigators are Florida experts. They are more than familiar with the tricks and trends behind the different types of property loss schemes that may arise in the aftermath of a hurricane. Put them to work for you!