Estimates of the damage caused when Hurricane Irma hit Georgia as a tropical storm in September continue to grow months after the winds and rain dissipated.
The state Department of Insurance estimates that insurance claims from damage caused by the storm are now up to $670 million. That total comes from about 130,000 claims of storm damage in Georgia.
Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens’ office said the figure may still grow as companies continue to process claims from the storm.
None of that $670 million includes damaged property that wasn’t covered by insurance. For instance, many Georgians in areas hit by the storm didn’t have flood insurance. Others found that they aren’t covered for wind damage in some instances.
In the Atlanta area, much of the damage was caused by downed trees.
This year’s Atlantic storms were some of the most powerful and destructive on record, not only because of the number of Category 5 storms, but also because more hit land than usual.
According to the National Hurricane Center, one-fourth of all Category 5 landfalls since 1851 occurred this year.
While Georgia’s insured claims from Irma may still top $670 million, Florida property owners suffered closer to $6 billion in insured losses from the storm. Some experts have estimated that this year’s U.S. hurricane season was the most costly ever.
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