The 2019 Hurricane Season Ends: How Bad Was It?
The official 2019 hurricane season ended on November 30. Now is a time to look back and assess how damaging it was. According to a Bloomberg story published on MSN, there was good and bad news.
First, the good. The 2019 season caused far less in property damage than recent seasons. We saw around $13.9 billion in damage in the Atlantic basin in 2019, which is dwarfed by the $50 billion in damage from 2018 and the mammoth $220 billion in damage from 2017. Of course, this damage was not evenly spread out across countries, but it is a sign that storms were generally not as destructive as many had feared.
There may be many reasons for the relatively small amount of property damage in 2019. For one thing, many storms did not make landfall, at least in the United States. Without a direct hit, there was less property damage in Florida and surrounding states. Although many Caribbean islands were hammered by Dorian, for example, the damaged caused was less expensive to fix because property is generally worth less in those countries.
The heaviest storm to make landfall in the U.S. was Tropical Storm Imelda, which was one of the season’s weakest storms. It hit Texas in September and caused around $2 billion of flooding damage.
More Hurricane Activity Expected Going Forward
The negative news from 2019 was that the hurricane season was so active. This year was the eighth busiest since 1851 when counting the number of named storms, which includes both hurricanes and tropical storms. In total, there were 18 named storms during the 2019 hurricane season.
Storms are also slower moving than in past years. They can soak up considerable amounts of water as they move toward land and end up dropping it, causing flooding. The amount of property damage caused by flooding has shot up in recent years and now rivals the amount of damage caused by wind. Indeed, Hurricane Michael which hit Florida in 2018 cause considerable damage precisely because the massive storm surge it generated flooded nearby buildings.
This season, Hurricane Barry dropped the most rain in Arkansas than any previous storm—an ominous sign of things to come. With more storms like Barry in the future, Floridians could see more flooding.
However, it is difficult to accurately forecast what will happen, so take predictions with a grain of salt. The 2005 hurricane season had 28 named storms, including Hurricane Katrina which severely damaged New Orleans. Nevertheless, hurricane activity did drop after 2005, so perhaps we will be spared more storms in the near future.
Contact a Hurricane Insurance Claims Attorney
If you have suffered property damage in a storm, Bundza & Rodriguez can help. Many insurance companies drag their feet when settling claims, or they make very low offers that do not cover your damage. Let us help you get the compensation you need to properly rebuild.