HURRICANES in NEW ENGLAND?
Most people do not think that Hurricanes occur in New England. This is partially true as only 5 hurricanes have made landfall in New England during our lifetimes. However, take a look at the Hurricane List below; and it is evident that there has been extensive damage and death between the months of August and November due to Hurricanes and Tropical Storms.
August 22, 2021 – Tropical Storm Henri made landfall near Westerly, Rhode Island, bringing strong winds and heavy rainfall to southern New England, which caused widespread flooding and severe weather.
October 30, 2020 – Post-tropical Storm Zeta brought over half a foot of snow accumulation in parts of New England, resulting in power outages, downed trees, and numerous crashes, some serious.
October 29–30, 2017 – The combination of Tropical Storm Philippe and an extratropical system resulted in approximately 1.2 million power outages in New England. The system produced storm-force sustained winds, reaching 57 mph (90 km/h) in Warwick, Rhode Island, and hurricane-force wind gusts, peaking at 93 mph (150 km/h) in Popponesset, Massachusetts.
October 29–30, 2012 – Hurricane Sandy affected Southern New England with its outer bands producing heavy storm surge, winds, and rainfall before the storm’s landfall in New Jersey. Sandy devastated the Jersey Shore, New York City, parts of Long Island and the Connecticut and Rhode Island coastlines. Flooding and power outages (roughly nine million customers total) lasted several days, while thousands of trees, telephone poles and traffic light stanchions were snapped. A total of approximately $71.4 billion in property damage was left in Sandy’s wake after it made landfall and its center went over Pennsylvania and New York. Sandy killed 5 people in New England (4 in Connecticut and 1 in New Hampshire).
August 28, 2011 – Hurricane Irene weakened to a tropical storm just before its landfall in New York, striking with winds of 70 mph (113 km/h). Irene produced high winds, heavy rains, and flash flooding especially in western New England. The storm left at least 16 people dead throughout New England, including ten deaths in Connecticut
November 3, 2007 – As a powerful extratropical storm, Hurricane Noel hit coastal Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Maine with hurricane-force wind-gusts of up to 89 mph (143 km/h), with sustained winds topping out at 59 mph (95 km/h). Power outages were widespread; about 80,000 customers in Massachusetts, mostly on Cape Cod, and 9,000 in Maine lost electric power. Heavy rainfall, high seas, and coastal flooding also occurred.
September 19, 2003 – Hurricane Isabel passed far to the west, though rainfall reached 1 inch (25 mm) in portions of western Connecticut and Massachusetts, and in portions of New Hampshire and Maine. Falling trees from moderate winds downed power lines across the region, causing sporadic power outages. Two people died as a result of the hurricane, both due to the rough surf
September 17–18, 1999 – After paralleling much of the U.S. East Coast, Tropical Storm Floyd moved into Connecticut and tracked northward through Maine. Floyd caused large power-outages and major flood damage across the region, with over 5 inches (13 cm) of rain falling over most of the area. Danbury, Connecticut, received up to 15 inches (380 mm) of rain from the storm, resulting in extensive flooding in the city and surrounding areas. Mudslides were reported in the Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts. Several major highways and a countless number of local roads in Connecticut and Massachusetts were closed for several days due to flooding and downed trees and power lines. Hurricane-force wind gusts were observed in southern Rhode Island; North Kingston unofficially reported wind gusts to 90 mph (145 km/h). Wind gusts to 76 mph (122 km/h) were recorded at the New Bedford Hurricane Dike in New Bedford, Massachusetts, and 73 mph (117 km/h) in Hyannis, Massachusetts.
August 19, 1991 – Hurricane Bob made landfall on Block Island, Rhode Island, and Newport, Rhode Island, as a Category 2 hurricane. Winds gusted to Category 3 strength in southeastern Massachusetts. Bob was one of the smallest in area and yet most intense hurricanes to hit southern New England since 1938
Preparing for Severe Tropical Weather
As we all know, the beauty of summer and fall in New England is inevitably accompanied by unpredictable weather patterns. For property managers and insurance professionals, this means gearing up to face the potentially damaging impacts of severe tropical weather. Protecting your properties and understanding the nuances of weather-related insurance claims can significantly reduce costs and potential hassles.
One of the most critical steps in weather-proofing properties is conducting comprehensive pre-season inspections. Check for vulnerabilities in roofing, gutters, HVAC systems, and outdoor areas. Remove dead tree limbs that could potentially fall and cause damage in a storm. Consider investing in weather-resistant materials for areas exposed to the elements, such as exterior paint and roofing shingles. These actions can prevent costly damage, and an ounce of prevention is invariably worth a pound of cure, particularly when it comes to property management.
For insurance professionals, understanding the potential impacts of severe weather on property is crucial. Conducting regular client education sessions on weather-related coverage is beneficial. Keep insureds informed about what their policies cover and what they do not. Pay specific attention to common fall weather damages like wind, flooding, and fallen trees. Encourage insureds to keep an inventory of their belongings and to document the condition of their property before and after a severe weather event. This can be immensely helpful when it comes to filing a claim.
Remember, preparation is the key to successfully navigating the challenges of New England’s severe seasonal weather. Being proactive about property inspections, preventative maintenance, and education can make a world of difference when the autumn winds blow. Stay safe and remain prepared.
24 Restore is the preferred restoration services partner of commercial & residential property owners across New England. Whether you’re dealing with an emergency situation, or just simply need help implementing a sound Disaster Response Plan, we’re available to help. Contact 24 anytime, day or night for assistance.