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Taking a Toll: Property Damage in Hurricane Ida’s Wake

As communities in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi pick up the pieces from Hurricane Ida, learn more about how the storm may impact the construction industry, and what industry groups are doing to offer assistance.

This week Hurricane Ida, now a tropical depression, ravaged Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi, where the storm touched down, as well as areas in the Northeast such as New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, claiming more than 25 lives to date and causing widespread property damage. As communities in these regions begin assessing storm damage, learn more about how Ida may impact construction in the region, as well as what one industry group is doing to offer assistance.

The Risk to Single-Family and Multifamily Homes

Data released by CoreLogic Risk Analysis estimated that there were a total of 941,392 homes in the path of Ida. CoreLogic estimated that these homes have a combined reconstruction cost value (RCV) of approximately $220.37 billion.

According to CoreLogic, New Orleans-Metairie, Louisiana is the metropolitan area most at risk for storm surge damage for both multi-family and single-family residential properties. CoreLogic estimates the number of multi-family properties at risk is 6,518 and the number of single-family properties is 387,715.

Mobile, is the area in Alabama most at risk for multi-family damage (101 properties), while Daphne-Fairhope-Foley Alabama shows the most multi-family risk in (14,853 properties) Alabama.

For Mississippi, the metropolitan area of Gulfport-Biloxi had the most risk for both multi-family and single-family property damage in the state, at 728 and 94,353 properties respectively.

Total Property Damage

Analysts from Fitch Ratings estimate that insured losses from Hurricane Ida will hover between $15 billion-$25 billion. While well below 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, which had insured losses of $65 billion, Fitch expects Hurricane Ida to surpass winter storm Uri ($15 billion), as the costliest insured catastrophe this year.

Fitch also noted that COVID-19 may impact the hamper efforts to respond to Hurricane Ida. “The ongoing pandemic may compound the normal logistical challenges of assessing damage to property following a catastrophe event and lead to modestly elevated levels of loss adjustment expenses. The severity of insured property claims may face adverse impact from supply chain shortages of building materials and higher contract labor costs,” Fitch said in their report.

Category 4 Hurricanes and Roof Damage

When Hurricane Ida made landfall on Aug. 29 near Port Fourchon, Louisiana it was considered a Category 4 storm. This video from Nola.com illustrates the damage to homes at each of the five categories of Hurricanes, and at the point at which roofs structures are expected to be severely damaged.

Here to Help

As homeowners start to assess the damage to their properties, they can be vulnerable to scams and less than reputable contractors. To help homeowners partner with experienced and trustworthy professionals, the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), created the consumer website, EverybodyNeedsaRoof.com. The site has a dedicated section to natural disasters, and all companies listed are NRCA members.

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