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AIR Worldwide Estimates Insured Losses for Hurricane Sally Will be Between USD 1 Billion and USD 3 Billion

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Boston, Sept. 21, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Catastrophe risk modeling firm AIR Worldwide estimates that industry insured losses to onshore property resulting from Hurricane Sally’s winds, storm surge, and inland flood will range from USD 1 billion to USD 3 billion, with wind representing the majority of the losses. AIR Worldwide is a Verisk (Nasdaq:VRSK) business.

After meandering across the Gulf, Sally made a late shift eastward and rapidly intensified to a Category 2 hurricane before making landfall at 4:45 a.m. CDT on September 16 near Gulf Shores, Alabama, just west of the Florida border, with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph (165 km/h) and a minimum central pressure of 965 mb. Sally quickly diminished after landfall as it crept northeast at around 3 mph, bringing wind gusts over 100 mph, storm surge of around 6-7 feet above NAVD88 in coastal communities of Baldwin County, Alabama, and Escambia County, Florida (including Pensacola), and rainfall of up to 30 inches in Orange Beach, Alabama, and 24.8 inches in downtown Pensacola, Florida. Heavy rainfall was largely confined to a relatively smaller area covering the Florida Panhandle west of Tallahassee and southeastern Alabama. 

According to AIR, although wind speeds diminished rapidly after landfall, Sally buffeted cities and towns for hours as it moved north-northeast across Alabama at speeds as slow as 2 mph. Coastal areas between Mobile, Alabama, and Pensacola, Florida, lingered in the northern eyewall for hours. Tropical storm–force winds continued through the afternoon of the 16th across southern Alabama and the western Florida Panhandle.

Along its track, Sally caused mostly minor roof damage, broken windows, downed trees, toppled church steeples and appurtenant structures such as gas station canopies, and some isolated major structural failures, and damaged infrastructure in Alabama and Florida. At its height, power outage extended to nearly half a million customers—most of them in Alabama and Florida.

Areas of notable storm surge inundation include Orange Beach and Dauphin Island, Alabama, and other coastal communities of Baldwin County. Areas of notable inland flooding include downtown Pensacola, which received 24.8 inches of rain from Sally. Flooding in coastal communities in Baldwin County and the Florida Panhandle was largely caused by hurricane-induced precipitation. 

Included in AIR’s estimates are losses to onshore residential, commercial, and industrial properties and automobiles for their building, contents, and time element coverage.

About AIR Worldwide
AIR Worldwide (AIR) provides risk modeling solutions that make individuals, businesses, and society more resilient to extreme events. In 1987, AIR Worldwide founded the catastrophe modeling industry and today models the risk from natural catastrophes, terrorism, pandemics, casualty catastrophes, and cyber incidents. Insurance, reinsurance, financial, corporate, and government clients rely on AIR’s advanced science, software, and consulting services for catastrophe risk management, insurance-linked securities, longevity modeling, site-specific engineering analyses, and agricultural risk management. AIR Worldwide, a Verisk (Nasdaq:VRSK) business, is headquartered in Boston, with additional offices in North America, Europe, and Asia. For more information, please visit www.air-worldwide.com. For more information about Verisk, a leading data analytics provider serving customers in insurance, energy and specialized markets, and financial services, please visit www.verisk.com.

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