DAILY NEWS Sep 15, 2008 4:54 PM - 0 comments

Hurricane Ike damage estimates between US$6 and $16 billion

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Hurricane Ike has caused insured losses from both onshore and offshore damage of between US$6 billion and US$16 billion, catastrophe modellers estimate.
The storm made landfall on Sept. 13, hitting Galveston Island, Texas as a strong Category 2 storm.
Ike featured hurricane-force winds stretching up to 250 miles wide and maximum sustained winds at landfall of 110 mp-h, just shy of a Category 3 storm.
AIR Worldwide Corporation estimates insured losses to onshore properties from Ike are between US$8 billion and US$12 billion, with an expected loss of US$10 billion.
Risk Management Solutions (RMS) estimates damages to both onshore and offshore property to be between US$6 billion and US$16 billion.
"This estimate, based on the latest available damage information, includes both onshore and offshore losses resulting from strong winds and storm surge, but does not include losses from inland flooding or losses covered under flood policies issued by the National Flood Insurance Program," an RMS release says.
Losses to high-rise buildings in downtown Houston as a result of rook and window damage may also contribute significantly to the total loss, RMS and AIR note in their respective releases.
"High-rise office buildings in downtown Houston have been subject to winds around 30 miles per hour higher than at ground level, potentially aggravated by debris from the proximity of these buildings in the downtown area," said Christine Ziehmann, director of model management at RMS. "Damage that has been observed so far to windows and facades is similar to that experienced in southeast Florida from Hurricane Wilma in 2005."

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