Dorian caused $7B in damage to The Bahamas, estimates catastrophic modeling firm

Catastrophic modeling and risk management company Karen Clark and Company (KCC) estimates that Dorian caused $7 billion worth of damage to The Bahamas. Its report noted, however, that deadly Hurricane Dorian’s track was not the worst case scenario for this country.

“New Providence, the most populated island, was spared the worst of Dorian’s wind speeds and storm surge,” noted KCC’s report.

The company estimates the insured and uninsured losses on Abaco to be $4 billion, the losses on Grand Bahama to be $2 billion and on New Providence $1 billion.

Though New Providence was not directly hit by the storm, KCC contends losses will be up to $1 billion due to moderate wind damage and damage from flooding as a result of storm surge and rainfall.

KCC’s report explains that the highest wind speeds occurred at Elbow Cay and Marsh Harbour, where the intensity of the storm peaked.

“Abaco experienced Hurricane Dorian at its peak intensity and a prolonged period of exposure to 184 miles per hour (mph) winds,” the report points out.

“Winds of this magnitude cause major structural damage to wood frame and masonry structures. The building stock in The Bahamas is predominantly masonry buildings with wood-frame roofs. As a result, most residential structures and other buildings on Abaco suffered total damage from wind.

“Along with the wind damage, Abaco experienced storm surge flooding levels up to 20 feet on parts of the island.”

The KCC report explains that storm surge chiefly contributed to the losses on Grand Bahama.

“Dorian brought 185 mph winds to Grand Bahama Island, but its track turned northward before it reached Freeport, the most populated area on the island,” the report states.

“As a result, Freeport experienced sustained wind speeds closer to 120 mph with higher gusts. These winds are sufficient to cause extreme damage to roof covering and decking.

“Storm surge contributed relatively more to the losses in Freeport and other Grand Bahama locations that were outside of the hurricane eyeball and experienced lower wind speeds.

“As Dorian stalled over Grand Bahama on September 2, it pushed a storm surge of nearly 20 feet onto the northern side of the island. Much of downtown Freeport was also flooded along with the airport.”

The KCC report noted that flooding on New Providence was between one to three feet and the island received between six and ten inches of rainfall while being impacted by tropical storm force winds.

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Chester Robards

Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian. Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism

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