The Houston area is no stranger to hurricanes and tropical storm activity. While recent years have yielded incredibly powerful storm systems like Hurricane Harvey, this year’s hurricane activity is expected to be incredibly high. Just last year, the 2019 hurricane season marked the fourth consecutive year of above-average activity and was tied with 1969 for the fourth most-active hurricane season on record. Forecasters and meteorologists are already anticipating another year of many strong hurricanes that could batter the gulf coast once again.
With hurricane season looming around the corner, meteorologists at AccuWeather are monitoring factors that could majorly influence this year’s tropical storm and hurricane season. In late March, AccuWeather released its 2020 Atlantic hurricane forecast. The findings predict roughly 14-18 storms this season, with seven to nine of them expected to become hurricanes and two to four additional storms predicted to turn into major hurricanes. This is above normal for a regular hurricane season, which has around 12 storms, six hurricanes, and roughly three major hurricanes.
Damage Caused by Hurricanes
Hurricanes are the most the damaging of natural disasters. These powerful storms have incredibly strong wind gusts, cause detrimental flooding, and have a major impact on home and business owners. Some of the most notable causes of damage by hurricanes include:
The heavy rains associated with a tropical storm or hurricane are responsible for major flooding both where the storm initially strikes and areas hundreds of miles from where it originally made landfall. During landfall, it is not uncommon for five to ten inches of rain to fall. If the storm is large and moving slowly, rainfall can be even more excessive.
Storm surge is the rapid rise in water level that moves onto land as the eye of a storm makes landfall. This happens when a hurricane approaches the coast and its winds drive water toward the shore. Once the edge of the storm reaches shallow water, water will begin to accumulate and the strong winds will force it onto shore.
The winds of a hurricane range from 74 miles per hour (mph) in a minimal storm, to greater than 155 mph in a catastrophic one. High winds can uproot trees and tear down power lines. The maximum winds from fast moving and powerful storms may remain high, even when the storm is well inland.
Hurricanes can also trigger tornadoes. Tornadoes spawned from hurricanes can happen during an intense hurricane or one intensifying at or near landfall.
The Cost of a Hurricane
Coastal cities like Houston create 40% of America’s jobs and are responsible for 46% of gross domestic product, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). When a natural disaster occurs, the impact can be devastating. In the last decade alone, $119 billion worth of weather disaster damage occurred, which is double the amount from 2000 to 2009.
Houston Hurricane Insurance Claims Attorney
After a natural disaster like a hurricane occurs, many insurance companies will attempt to delay or deny the payment of valid claims. This makes the recovery process incredibly difficult for those trying to rebuild. Holding insurance companies accountable and ensuring policyholders receive proper payment will likely require the assistance of a hurricane insurance claims attorney.
Insurance companies can be quick to deny or delay valid claims when the unexpected happens. Having an experienced insurance claims attorney on your side can help ensure your claims are properly assessed and paid. If you or someone you know has suffered damage to a residential or commercial property due to a hurricane or other natural disaster, contact Raizner Slania LLP today for a free consultation to discuss your case.