Michael now tropical storm, post-landfall estimate $21 Billion

Unlike most storms, Michael completed a round of intensification just before landfall and may have reached 135 kts (155mph) before landfall just east of Panama City, Florida.  After landfall it rapidly tracked into Georgia, and as of 6am the center (now a tropical storm) is just entering South Carolina north of Augusta. Here is the radar from just before 6am, with active warnings (mostly for flood) …

 

Michael will continue to weaken throughout most of today as it crosses SC, but should the winds will begin to increase again as it interacts with the system that is accelerating the storm to the northeast, and it transitions into a extratropical storm.  Here’s the latest impact swath map …

So how bad?  Unlike several recent bad storms like Harvey, Florence, or even back to Sandy, Michael is a traditional hurricane event where the most intense damage is in a narrow swath along the coast and track of the storm cause by either wind, waves, or storm surge, with inland damage mostly caused by wind.  Economic impacts are likely in the $25 Billion dollar range.    The models are estimating that of that, the FEMA Flood Insurance Program will probably take something like a $3 Billion hit, private insurance $9 to $10 Billion, so that insurance will cover just about 50% of the impacts, which again is much more of a “traditional” storm than the recent events with so much uncovered (by insurance) damage.

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