Destruction often fast, furious and expensive, so be prepared!
Released: June 6, 2005
Commissioner of Insurance Robert Wooley told the Lafayette Insurance Exchange today
the storms Louisiana has experienced since 2001 have caused an estimated $656 million
statewide in insured damages, leaving a lasting impression on those who suffered
"While the state has not seen major hurricane activity in recent years, the
lower intensity storms did account for some significant damage. I urge residents
not to assume that there is a trend of relative inactivity. So everyone should take
the necessary precautions now before a tropical system enters the Gulf of Mexico,"
Hurricane forecaster William Gray has predicted 15 tropical storms this Atlantic
hurricane season, with eight of those growing to hurricane strength and four becoming
intense storms with winds of more than 111 miles-per-hour. Hurricane season started
June 1 and ends November 30. According to Wooley, Louisiana has experienced the
highest number of direct hurricane hits in the months of August and September although
June has seen its fair share of severe hurricane activity as well.
Wooley said 1992's Hurricane Andrew, which in the past was used as the benchmark
when discussing Louisiana's large insured storm losses, now joins the ranks of the
January 23, 2000 hail storm that hit the Greater New Orleans area. While each storm
caused approximately $500 million in insured damages, the combined impact of successive
storms like 2002's Isidore and Lili are just as devastating.
"We always worry about a big storm like Hurricane Andrew but the multiple,
lower intensity hurricanes and tropical storms can have an even a greater impact,"
Wooley added. "Storms can and do strike one after the other, leaving you little
time to prepare for the next hit," Wooley said. "So over a short period
of time huge losses can occur."
Commissioner Wooley shared the following facts with member of the Lafayette Insurance
Insured damage totals from recent tropical activity in Louisiana:
2001: Tropical Storm Allison $50 million plus
2002: Tropical Storm Isidore $105 million
Hurricane Lili $471 million
2003: Tropical Storm Bill $22 million
2004: Hurricane Ivan $7.9 million
The Department has hurricane tracking charts and preparedness guides available on
the Web, at www.ldi.state.la.us, or by
telephone request at 1-800-259-5300 or 225-342-5900.