Privately insured losses stemming from Hurricane Hilary will be close to $600 million in the US, according to data modelling from catastrophe risk assessment firm Karen Clark & Company.
This estimate includes all privately insured damage to residential, commercial, and industrial properties, in addition to automobiles. However, it leaves out damages to boats, offshore properties, and National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) losses.
Hilary began as a tropical wave that moved across Central America on August 14, afterwards transitioning into a tropical storm on August 16, and quickly strengthening into a Category 1 hurricane the day after. It reached Category 14 strength on August 18 and left a trail of destruction in its path.
Hilary brought significant impacts, primarily characterized by extensive flooding across southern California. The National Weather Service reported unprecedented rainfall on August 20, marking the wettest August day ever documented in Los Angeles and San Diego. Notably, Los Angeles received 2.5 inches of rain, while San Diego experienced 1.8 inches.
Some desert and mountain regions witnessed rainfall exceedingly more than half their typical annual accumulation. In a rare occurrence, Palm Springs received nearly three inches of rain, and Death Valley received an astounding 2.2 inches of rain in a single day, equivalent to an entire year's worth of rainfall for that locale.
The intense downpour resulted in waterlogged ground conditions, triggering mudslides and rockslides across various areas of California.
Additionally, Hilary unleashed forceful winds, some gusts reaching speeds of over 70 mph. These powerful gusts uprooted trees, toppled power lines, and plunged tens of thousands of residents in California into darkness by causing widespread power outages.
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