Whatever the future of tropical storms may hold, at least we will never have to experience one again called “Ida”.
The World Meteorological Organization has officially removed Ida from lists of tropical storm names that are reused every six years, a distinction that belongs only to the deadliest and most destructive storms. (This year’s “I” storm will be “Ian.”)
Though historically it hasn’t quite rivaled the 1900 Galveston Hurricane, which killed over 8,000 people, or the 1926 Great Miami Hurricane, which is credited with starting the South Florida Depression, Ida more than qualifies. They dated before the naming.
Ida has been blamed for more than 85 deaths in the United States, and by insured losses, it was the second-costliest hurricane at $36 billion and the #7 in payouts at $1.6 billion, according to the Insurance Information Institute of the National Flood Insurance Program billion. On landfall, it created a storm surge up to 14 feet above the ground in southeastern Louisiana, then mutated into a heavy rainstorm that spawned tornadoes as it moved inland toward the mid-Atlantic.
Research continues on how much the sea-level rise and increased precipitation associated with accelerating global warming are increasing the destructive power of tropical storms. But the effects of the development in the increasing claims are clearly visible, say insurance industry experts.
“Mother Nature is constantly telling us and smacking us in the head that we’re building houses where houses don’t belong,” said John Dickson, president and CEO of Aon Edge, one of the private companies that has entered the flood insurance market, “but we continue to do so. And until we stop building houses where houses don’t belong, these problems will remain.”
Nine of the top 10 insurance claims have occurred since 2005.
Despite this, Ida has earned a top spot in an analysis of all-time destructive tropical cyclones that attempts to account for development trends and inflation.
In a study published in the journal Nature Sustainability, a team of hurricane, policy and insurance experts ranked historic storms according to the insured losses they would have caused given inflation and the current state of development.
The estimates include damage that occurred after a storm lost its tropical characteristics, as did Ida, said Jessica Weinkle, an associate professor at the University of North Carolina and lead author of the study, published in 2017. The list was recently updated. and Ida is now No. 10.
Here are the rankings and damage estimates for 2021.
It made a hit in Miami and was responsible for over 350 deaths.
“Isaac’s Storm” killed up to 8,000 people, although the true number will never be known.
The storm has been accused of killing more than 1,800 people and leaving millions homeless in New Orleans.
It was not just as deadly as its predecessor, but self-destructive.
The center landed just 20 miles south of Miami with winds of 165 miles per hour and another landfall in Louisiana.
Sandy wasn’t technically a hurricane when it made landfall north of Atlantic City, but in the Court of Common Sense…
Not to be confused with the Great Atlantic Hurricane of 1944 that caused so much damage along the Jersey shore, it has been blamed for more than 300 deaths.
The strongest hurricane to hit New England surfaced Providence, RI. A wind gust of 186 miles per hour was recorded at one Maine Observatory. It also caused significant damage to the Jersey shore as it passed along the coast.
After landing on the Texas coast with winds gusting up to 152 mph, Harvey unleashed torrential downpours, with Houston’s Cedar Bayou reporting a record 51.88 inches.
Ida was one that people at the Schuylkill, Brandywine, down those tornado trails, or anyone who was here at the time, won’t soon forget.