2023 Ends With Costly Storms Along Both Coasts

Insured, economic losses from year-end weather could reach into millions

January 04, 2024 Photo

The year 2023 ended with severe weather in the U.S. that may lead to millions of dollars in losses, according to Aon’s Weekly Cat Reports from Dec. 22, 2023, and Dec. 29, 2023. A nor’easter hit the eastern U.S. on Dec. 16-19, and prolonged heavy rainfall brought flooding to California on Dec. 20-22. Both caused material losses that could potentially add up to millions of dollars, according to Aon.

The Nor’easter

The nor’easter began on Dec. 16 when “an area of low pressure developed over the Gulf of Mexico and quickly moved northeast into the Atlantic Ocean by the following day,” Aon reports. The storm system strengthened, causing several stations from northern Florida to North Carolina to set new December minimum sea-level pressure records, while, simultaneously, “widespread wind gusts exceeding 60 mph…and heavy rainfall caused coastal and inland flooding impacts to this region.” The storm brought similar wind and rain impacts to the Mid-Atlantic and New England regions on Dec. 18-19, causing many coastal communities to experience “exceptional wind speeds, with gusts up to 93 mph,” says Aon, while flash flooding affected several rivers from New Jersey to Maine.

The strong winds and heavy precipitation from the nor’easter killed seven and injured many more, and also caused “widespread power outages, downed trees, and localized flooding incidents…within several Atlantic coastal states,” Aon says. The report concludes, “Given the large area affected by wind and flooding damage, total economic and insured losses could reach into the millions of USD.”

California Flooding

“A prolonged period of heavy rain stemming from a large low-pressure system brought flooding impacts to California on Dec.20-22,” according to Aon. “Extreme rainfall rates particularly affected Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, leading to flooded homes, damaged roads, and one death.” As a result of the heavy rainfall, many “homes, buildings, and roads were flooded, which led to some water rescues and evacuations,” Aon reports. Minor flooding also took place throughout other California cities. Ultimately, due to the widespread flooding across the state, the report concluded that “economic and insured losses could reach into the tens of millions USD.”

About The Authors
Angela Sabarese

Angela Sabarese, Associate Editor of CLM. angela.sabarese@theclm.org

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CLM’s Environmental and Toxic Tort Committee focuses on existing and emerging issues in the environmental, pollution, and mass tort context. This encompasses long-tail claims as well as claims submitted on currently issued policies.

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