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AccuWeather: Economic Cost of Hurricanes Could be $290 Billion
USAgNet - 09/12/2017

AccuWeather reports it has been a destructive and costly hurricane season, following the historic impacts from Hurricane Harvey and now Hurricane Irma. This is the first time in the history of record keeping that two Category 4 or higher hurricanes, Harvey and Irma, have struck the U.S. mainland in the same year.

"That is extraordinary by itself," said AccuWeather Founder Dr. Joel N. Myers. "And also unprecedented is that this particular storm, Irma, has sustained intensity for the longest period of time of any hurricane or typhoon in any ocean of the world since the satellite era began."

Irma has great staying power, and it is a unique storm. It has had a brush with several islands in the Caribbean and ran on land in Cuba. Now, it's hugging the Florida coast as a major hurricane.

"The storm is not only intense, it is also very large. The area affected by the strong winds along the west coast near the center of the storm will barrel along and hug the coast closely heading due north, and will bring winds gusts of well over 100 mph and conceivably over 125 mph," Myers said.

These types of storms cause extremely hazardous conditions, including flying objects, fallen trees, downed power lines, which carry the potential for electrocution, broken window glass on homes and cars and damage to roofs and other structures. Storm surge will be another major threat.

Hurricane Irma will cause damage from all three factors - wind, flooding from heavy rain and damage from the sea in different places in Florida.

While one may not think about hurricane-force winds across the interior, there will be many places well removed from the coast in Florida 25-50 miles inland that will see wind gusts of over 100 mph.

The storm will weaken once it gets through the Florida Panhandle and Georgia, but the harmful, life-threatening effects of the storm could last into Wednesday or Thursday north of Florida.

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