Hurricane Laura damage estimates revealed

The event caused billions in damage when it slammed into Texas and Louisiana last week

Hurricane Laura damage estimates revealed

Catastrophe & Flood

By Ryan Smith

Hurricane Laura caused up to $12 billion in property damage in Louisiana and Texas, according to a new analysis from CoreLogic.

The analytics provider estimated insured wind and storm surge losses for residential and commercial properties to be between $8 billion and $12 billion, with insured storm surge losses estimated to have contributed less than half a billion to the total.

The damage could have been worse, according to CoreLogic. When Hurricane Laura made landfall last week, its center struck a more sparsely populated area of the Texas and Louisiana coast.

“There is never a good place for a hurricane to make landfall,” said Curtis McDonald, meteorologist and senior product manager at CoreLogic. “But this was the best possible outcome because it spared the population centers of Houston and New Orleans.”

Laura weakened as it moved over land, which also protected some metropolitan areas from the full brunt of the storm as it made landfall as a Category 4.

The storm will most likely have lingering effects on homeowners in its wake. The ability to make loan payments can be compromised following a hurricane, and the delinquency rates in Beaumont, Texas (9.3%) and Lake Charles, La. (9.5%) were already above the national rate of 7.3%.

“CoreLogic data has shown natural disasters cause a spike in mortgage delinquencies, which suggests Hurricane Laura will add to the economic hardship families are already experiencing during the pandemic,” the company said.

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