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Hurricane Irma damage could be as high as $65 billion

UPDATED: Wed., Sept. 20, 2017

Maria Stotts, and Heather Mueller, volunteers from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, clear debris from a Monroe County sheriff’s deputy’s home damaged by a 6-foot storm surge, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, in Big Pine Key, Fla. (Al Diaz / Associated Press)
Maria Stotts, and Heather Mueller, volunteers from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, clear debris from a Monroe County sheriff’s deputy’s home damaged by a 6-foot storm surge, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, in Big Pine Key, Fla. (Al Diaz / Associated Press)
By Rene Rodriguez Miami Herald

MIAMI – Hurricane Irma’s monstrous 185 mph winds seemed to be the biggest menace as the storm inexorably made its way toward Florida earlier this month.

But according to a study by the information company CoreLogic, flooding wreaked the costliest damage to homes and businesses in the storm’s path.

According to the analysis, the total insured and uninsured loss for both residential and commercial properties is estimated to be between $42.5 billion and $65 billion.

CoreLogic estimates total flood loss for residential properties in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina to range between $25 billion and $38 billion.

Of this flood total, insured residential flood loss covered by FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program is estimated at $5 billion to $8 billion. Uninsured residential flood loss – 80 percent of the total flood damage – is estimated at $20 billion to $30 billion.

Insured commercial flood loss is estimated at $4 billion to $8 billion, most of which covered by private insurers.

Wind damage, which is typically covered by insurers, was estimated to be between $13.5 billion to $19 billion. Residential losses ($11 billion to $15 billion) accounted for the bulk of that amount.

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