Thoughts on Irene

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!/jimlynch9999.) All week I’ve tried to keep up-to-date on the path and intensity of this one.

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 || 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.




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