Nicole’s Insured Losses Less than $1B, but Some Florida Homes Washed into the Sea

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Insured losses from Hurricane Nicole, a Category 1 storm that made landfall on Florida’s east coast last week, will be no more than $750 million, a fraction of the losses caused by Hurricane Ian six weeks earlier, CoreLogic predicted based on its computer models.

The real estate analysis firm said Ian, which landed north of Fort Myers on Florida’s southwest coast on Sept. 28, could reach as much as $51 billion in insured losses. Other estimates put the total at up to $60 billion. CoreLogic’s model for Nicole accounts for wind and storm surge losses, but not increased costs due to benefit assignment agreements, the company said.

Many in the Florida insurance industry had feared that coming so close to Ian and in the midst of a beleaguered property insurance market, Nicole would be a major blow to some transportation companies. But news reports from the state’s eastern flank suggest most of the damage came from storm surges in beach areas, not the storm’s 75-mile winds.

“We expect insured property losses from Hurricane Nicole to be minimal. It was primarily a flood/storm surge event with minimal storm damage and should not have a significant impact on Florida home insurers,” said Mark Friedlander, communications director for the Insurance Information Institute. “Hopefully, storm victims were financially protected with flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program or private flood insurers.”

Nicole gazed directly over Vero Beach, where longtime insurance agent and consultant David Thompson lives.

“I’ve seen a lot of hurricanes, but I’ve never had an eye directly over us,” he said.


However, Thompson’s home did not lose power and sustained no damage. “We’re very lucky,” he said.

In the north, agents and news outlets reported further damage, including some beachfront homes that had partially collapsed into the sea.

At Wilbur-by-the-Sea, south of Daytona Beach, workers attempted to stabilize remaining pieces of land with rock and earth. For some, however, it was too late: the front of one house lay on the sand, where it sheared away from the rest of the structure.

Parts of otherwise intact buildings hung over sand cliffs sculpted by crashing waves that lapped at the usually wide beach. Dozens of hotel and condominium towers up to 22 stories tall have been declared uninhabitable in Daytona Beach Shores and New Smyrna Beach after seawater undermined their foundations. Just six weeks ago hurricaneIan caused a first round of damage – adding to Nicole’s problems.

Retired health worker Cindy Tyler, who lived in a seven-story tower block that was closed due to the storm, struggled to cope with the idea of ​​never being able to return to her building.

“I think right now I’m just in a state of perseverance,” said Tyler, who was forced to evacuate with her husband and a few belongings. “I don’t think I can’t go back to my place. I’m trying to be very hopeful and very optimistic.”

Tenants in Tyler’s building spent $240,000 to replace a protective barrier that Ian damaged, but the new fixture was no match for Nicole.

“Temporary sea wall? Mother Nature said, “Hold my beer,” she said.

Wilbur-by-the-Sea (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Restoring Daytona Beach — famous for its motorable beach — and nearby shorelines will likely require a major multimillion-dollar sand cleanup project and improved levees to protect property, said Stephen Leatherman, director of the Coastal Research Laboratory at Florida International University.

“It was known around the world for driving on the beach,” said Leatherman, known as “Dr. Beach” for its annual ranking of US beaches. “They don’t even have a beach to think about right now.”

Tenants in Tyler’s building spent $240,000 to replace a protective barrier that Ian damaged, but the new fixture was no match for Nicole.

“Temporary sea wall? Mother Nature said, “Hold my beer,” she said.

A 15-mile stretch of shoreline was badly eroded, destroying several seawalls. Much of the destruction has been attributed to unrepaired seawalls being pounded in during Ian, killing more than 130 people and destroying thousands of homes.

Volusia County officials said it’s not clear when people will be able to sunbathe next to their cars and pickups on the beaches again.

“Assessment has begun and will continue as we have 47 miles of beach,” said county spokesman David Hunt.

Five deaths were the result of Nicole, the first November hurricane to hit Florida in four decades. Fewer than 15,000 homes and businesses were without power across Florida through late Friday afternoon, down from a peak of more than 330,000. No major disruptions have been reported on the east coast, according to a tracking website.

As Nicole’s remains pushed north, forecasters issued multiple tornado warnings in the Carolinas and Virginia, although no touchdowns were immediately reported. In South Georgia, Keith Post tried to repair damage to a coastal submarine museum that was inundated by high tides.

“It got to my knees at one point,” said Post, whose St. Marys Submarine Museum is on the river that forms the Georgia-Florida line on the Atlantic Seaboard. “From the front of the museum facing Florida, you couldn’t see any greenery. It was all water.”

Downgraded to a depression, Nicole was due to dump up to 8 inches of rain over the Blue Ridge Mountains, weather forecasters said, and there was a possibility of flash flooding and urban flooding as far north as New England.

Car accidents contributed to Atlanta’s notoriously bad traffic, as rain fell from Nicole over the subway area during rush hour and some school systems in mountainous northern Georgia canceled classes.

Photo above: Damaged homes on the beach after Hurricane Nicole’s waves eroded the beach in Wilbur-By-The-Sea, Florida. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Copyright 2022 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed.

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