Hurricane Laura wind and storm surge-related damages caused between $8 billion and $12 billion in insured losses, according to a new data analysis from CoreLogic.
Specifically, the estimate covers insured wind and storm surge losses to residential and commercial properties in Louisiana and Texas. CoreLogic said that insured storm surge losses contributed less than $500 million to the overall total.
As Hurricane Laura approached the coast, the storm’s center struck a more sparsely populated area of the Louisiana and Texas coast. As well, the storm weakened as it moved over land, which safeguarded some metropolitan areas from the full impact of a landfalling Category 4 hurricane, CoreLogic said.
Curtis McDonald, a CoreLogic meteorologist and senior manager, said in prepared remarks that the hurricane landfall location “was the best possible outcome because it spared the major population centers of Houston and New Orleans.”
The CoreLogic post-landfall estimates have been updated based on the August 27, 11 a.m. Eastern Standard Time National Hurricane Center (NHC) advisory of the storm. The storm is not expected to pose an extreme flood risk as it moves east across the country, CoreLogic said. Wind and storm surge are likely to be the primary causes of property loss initially while tornado activity could occur as the storm progresses, the firm noted. The analysis includes residential homes and commercial properties, including contents and business interruption and does not include broader economic loss from the storm.
CoreLogic performs, in part, high-resolution storm surge modeling. The company produces high resolution location products and services that indicate property hazard and vulnerability.