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Ian set for second US hurricane-force landfall in South Carolina

29th September 2022 - Author: Luke Gallin

After devastating Florida’s west coast as a strong Category 4 storm before weakening over land, hurricane Ian is set to restrengthen in the Atlantic and is expected to make a second U.S. landfall on the South Carolina coastline as a Category 1 hurricane.

Based on its strength, hurricane Ian was one of the strongest storms to ever make landfall in Florida, with sustained winds of 155 mph ensuring it’s a top-five event for the state.

The storm’s Florida landfall on Wednesday afternoon local time came after hurricane Ian rapidly intensified over warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico following its initial landfall in Cuba.

Now, forecasters are predicting a third landfall for the storm along the South Carolina coast, which sits between North Carolina and Georgia.

Currently, hurricane Ian is forecast to make landfall as a Category 1 storm with winds of 75 mph on Friday morning local time.

Stratumn, by SIA Partners

See below for the latest from research scientist, Tomer Burg, which shows hurricane Ian strengthening to a Category 1 storm ahead of landfall.

The storm is also pretty large now, with tropical-storm-force winds extending outwards up to 415 miles from the center.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has warned that there’s a “danger of life-threatening storm surge through Friday along the coasts of northeast Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.”

From early Friday morning the NHC expects hurricane-force winds across the South Carolina coast, with hurricane conditions a possibility overnight along the coasts of northeastern Florida and Georgia.

Widespread and potentially record flooding is also expected to continue in parts of Florida, with local significant flooding in southeastern Georgia and eastern South Carolina expected through the week.

Here’s the latest update from the NHC:

Clearly, it’s far too early for accurate insurance and reinsurance industry loss estimates for hurricane Ian, but it’s clear that a third landfall along the South Carolina coast will add to the total.

Analysts at KBW have suggested that the industry loss from the event will be in the low $30 billion range, while RMSI said that in Florida alone, economic losses from hurricane Ian are likely to be $65 billion.

Given the significant damage to property and severe flooding across Florida, coupled with the state’s social inflation and litigation issues, the potential for loss creep and business interruption losses, it’s likely that hurricane Ian will be a very complex loss to unravel.

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