At least 16 states were directly affected when Hurricane Sandy swept through the east coast of the US as well as the parts of the Caribbean, first making landfall in Jamaica in October 2012. According to the website of law firm Williams Kherkher it devastated the northeastern part of the US from Maine to Virginia. It was the storm that gave birth to the term “Frankenstorm,” coined by Jim Cisco of the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center to denote a hurricane that merges with a cold front.
The final toll for hurricane damages in the US was estimated at $65 billion, making it one of the costliest hurricanes in US history second only to Hurricane Katrina that devastated Louisiana and 5 others states to the tune of $108 billion. But how does that all that hurricane damage translate to individuals?
The term “hurricane” is culled from the Spanish huracán which in turn is derived from the Taino name for the god of storms Juracán. It is said that when Juracán was upset, he would send wind and rain down upon the people.
Hurricane damage usually results from massive amounts of rainfall and high sustained winds. The rain often causes floods, going to double digits in height when it falls, especially when it pushes a storm suge inland causing considerable property damage as well threatening the lives of people. In Katrina a more than 1,800 died in the US and 135 went missing in flood waters, while at least 286 were killed in Sandy.
High winds are responsible for doing considerable structural damage to commercial and residential buildings wherever they are. Being on high ground may offer some protection from floods but not winds. Hurricane Sandy, for example, was a Category 3 hurricane at its peak with wind speeds of up to 1115 mph. The real damage though was because it was sustained over a wide area, over 1,000 miles in diameter.
The costs were high, and those with windstorm coverage did not fare much better as insurance companies hedged about paying claims. If your homeowners’ or any other insurance claim is in dispute, you need to request assistance from experienced insurance lawyers to protect your rights.Read More