Offering the first damage estimates to insurance editors for Hurricane Hermine on Friday afternoon, Karen Clark & Company (KCC) released a statement projecting insured losses approaching $500 million, and total economic damages close to $1 billion.

The statement from the global experts in catastrophe loss estimation and risk management, characterizing the numerical forecast as a “flash estimate” in the headline of the statement, was delivered just after 5:00 p.m. EDT—less than 15 hours after the storm made landfall near St. Marks, Fla. at 1:30 am EDT.

A “flash estimate” is an initial indication of damage that could be revised after the storm has dissipated, a company representative explained.

According to KCC, the storm is likely to produce over 50,000 claims, primarily to residential properties and autos, spreading across the states of Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

With estimated peak sustained winds of 80 mph, Hermine was a Category 1 hurricane when it made landfall. The storm moved across the northern part of the state and into Georgia, traveling at 15 mph, the KCC statement said, noting that it generated storm surge heights between six and nine feet along the Florida Panhandle and northwest coastal regions.

Hurricane Hermine breaks the 10-year period since 2005 of no Florida hurricane landfalls, which was unprecedented in the historical record. Prior to the past decade, the longest period without a Florida landfall was six years, the KCC statement noted.

According to the rest of the statement, KCC expects the storm “to cause damage typical for a Category 1 hurricane, including power outages and destruction from falling trees,” in addition to coastal flooding and low level wind damage to roofs and siding.

Source: Karen Clark & Company