Posts Tagged ‘most costly US Hurricanes’

Economic Losses from Hurricane Isaac Could Reach $21 Billion

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Author: Dr. Lloyd Blanchard, Director of Public Performance Management, IEM

Hurricane Isaac is currently predicted to make landfall near New Orleans on or just before the 7-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. However, global security consulting firm IEM estimates the results will be far different.

Katrina was a Category 3 storm that caused $108 billion in damages (the costliest ever in terms of dollars) and about 1,200 deaths (the most from a hurricane in 84 years). A day before projected landfall, Isaac has just reached hurricane strength with winds at 75 miles per hour, and is expected to make landfall as a Category 1 or 2 storm. According to IEM economist Dr. Lloyd Blanchard, “Based on this current information about the storm, IEM estimates that Isaac will cause less than 30 deaths and result in damage costs ranging from $18 to 21 billion.”

While the most obvious difference between these two storms lies in their severity (as measured by the Saffir-Simpson scale), the difference in wind speeds does not explain the difference in likely outcomes. (more…)