Given the pace of events, I’m tweeting fairly regularly on Hurricane Irene. (See the column near the top left of this page, or check out http://twitter.com/#!/jimlynch9999.) All week I’ve tried to keep up-to-date on the path and intensity of this one.
- NOAA puts VA to NJ on hurricane watch: http://ow.ly/6d4rj || #Irene likely to hit NJ dead-on as Cat 1 or severe TS – map: http://ow.ly/6d4wx
I’m concerned. Right now, the heart of the tropical storm looks like it will pass just west of my home (Montclair, NJ).
But I’m not freaked because a storm is bearing down. I’ve been through hurricanes before (Andrew).
I’m concerned because, as of now (10 p.m. Thursday), NOAA forecasts a Cat 1 hit on New Jersey, a state that hasn’t been hit by a hurricane since, I think, 1903. There are a lot of old trees throughout the state. When hurricanes go far inland, those older trees can’t handle the winds. They fall and damage a lot of homes, especially in wealthy areas – rich people like big old trees around. If a lot of them topple onto power lines, there could be astounding power outages, triggering business interruption coverage.
I’d love to be wrong, but I sense a lot of damage and another multibillion-dollar event.
- #Irene could be multibillion-dollar insurance event http://ow.ly/6dbmA || Similar to Floyd ($3.5B) and Jeanne ($4.15B).
But I think it could be much, much worse than either of those two.
Would love to be wrong.