September 14, 2017, Property Casualty 360 – Lisa Miller, former Florida deputy insurance commissioner, also advised homeowners to beware of anyone who knocks on doors and offers a free roof, plumbing or other services. “If it’s too good to be true, it likely is,” she warned. (original story location: http://www.propertycasualty360.com/2017/09/14/hurricane-irma-travels-up-the-east-coast-sparing-f?eNL=59b9abbf150ba0383b960a61&utm_source=PC360_NewsFlash&utm_medium=EMC-Email_editorial&utm_campaign=09142017&page_all=1 )
Hurricane Irma didn’t play favorites when it came to sharing her wrath. From the Florida Keys to the Carolinas, the hurricane continued to destroy homes and lives, flooding some and burying others in several feet of sand.
Among the areas hardest hit were Tybee Island, Georgia; nearby Savannah, Georgia; and Charleston, S.C.
Irma holds the record for being the strongest Atlantic basin hurricane recorded outside of the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico.
Tybee Island is a small barrier island near Savannah that is known for its beautiful sandy beaches. An 18th century lighthouse has provided guidance to sailors for centuries and has been rebuilt following other storms. Tybee Island Mayor Jason Buelterman said that the flooding from Irma was even worse than what residents experienced last year after being hit head-on by Hurricane Matthew, and many of the area’s 3,000 residents suffered flood damage. The storm surge levels reached almost 5 feet and swells were as high as 15 feet.
Approximately 800 flights were cancelled at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airport, and nearly 1.5 million Georgia residents lost power during the height of the storm. Nearly 750,000 were still in the dark on Tuesday evening in Georgia and the Carolinas.
Savannah also experienced high winds and water eventually covered the cobblestones along River Street, an area lined with hotels, restaurants and shops that sits along the Savannah River. The ballroom at the Hyatt Regency had a foot of water in it after the river crested the bank.
Modeler KCC has estimated insured losses from Hurricane Irma at $18 billion for the U.S. and $7 billion for the Caribbean, but those numbers do not include crop losses or those covered by the National Flood Insurance Program. The majority of the losses are in Florida, followed by Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama, and include buildings, contents, business interruption and automobiles.
Owners should not start vehicles that had water above the floorboards or wet seats since that could cause more damage to the electrical system. Experts recommend opening the hood and checking the vehicle’s air filter — if it’s wet, don’t start the car.
Lisa Miller, former Florida deputy insurance commissioner, also advised homeowners to beware of anyone who knocks on doors and offers a free roof, plumbing or other services. “If it’s too good to be true, it likely is,” she warned.
By Patricia L. Harman, PropertyCasualty360.com
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