Catastrophic and risk management firm says uninsured set to lose $4 bil. In Abaco
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Hurricane Dorian caused an estimated $7 billion in damage to The Bahamas, a catastrophic and risk management company has estimated.
In a special report dated September 4 — three days after Hurricane Dorian made landfall in The Bahamas — Karen Clark and Company pegged insured and uninsured losses on Abaco at $4 billion, losses on Grand Bahama at $2 billion in and on New Providence $1 billion.
Although New Providence was not directly hit by the storm, KCC contends losses will be up to $1 billion due to moderate wind damage and damage from flooding as a result of storm surge and rainfall.
As for Abaco and Grand Bahama, KCC noted, “Abaco experienced Hurricane Dorian at its peak intensity and a prolonged period of exposure to 185 mph winds. Winds of this magnitude cause major structural damage to wood frame and masonry structures. The building stock in Bahama is predominantly masonry buildings with wood-frame roofs. As a result, most residential structures and other buildings on Abaco suffered total damage from wind.“
The report continued, “Along with the wind damage, Abaco experienced storm surge flooding levels of up to 20 feet on parts of the island. Between the inundation from storm surge and record high winds, a near total loss of property is expected for Marsh Harbour. Dorian also brought 185 mph winds to Grand Bahama Island, but its track turned northward before it reached Freeport, the most populated area on the island. Asa result, Freeport experienced sustained wind speeds closer to 120 mph with higher gusts. These wind speeds are sufficient to cause extreme damage to roof covering and decking.”
KCC stated that storm surge contributed relatively more to the loss in Freeport and other Grand Bahama locations that were outside of the hurricane eyewall and experienced lower wind speeds.
“As Dorian stalled over Grand Bahama on September 2nd, it pushed a storm surge of nearly 20 feet onto the northern side of the island,” read the report. “Much of downtown Freeport was also flooded along with the airport.”
KCC noted that Dorian will go into the history books as the hurricane causing the most intense wind speeds over land and for the longest duration, however pointed out that Dorian’s track was not the worst-case scenario for The Bahamas given that New Providence, the most populated island, was spared the worst of Dorian’s wind speeds and storm surge.