By now, it's no secret that within hours Hurricane Irma will come smashing down on Florida— and the damage could be catastrophic.
A report coming from Karen Clark, CEO of catastrophe modeling firm Karen Clark & Company, who spoke with those over at BuzzFeed, just revealed how severe this storm could really be.
Clark states that by Friday, surges are estimated to reach 5 to 10 feet of water, with winds hitting over 150 miles per hour.
And that could just be the beginning.
The Florida governor has issued a mandatory evacuation for those on the coast line and while this is an attempt to save peoples lives, there is practically nothing that can be done to protect residents' homes and property.
Clark told BuzzFeed, “Southeast Florida is the most vulnerable place in the whole country to hurricane damage,” and along with that vulnerability, the monetary cost could be incredibly high.
Clark said that if Irma continues on the route it's going, the damage could be “well in excess of $100 billion.”
When breaking things down, Clark stated that just in Miami-Dade County alone:
"There’s over half a trillion dollars of value. The numbers are huge. The problem is the amount of property value in one place that could be right in the path of the hurricane.”
And to make things even more frightening, Clark stated that Miami's luxurious high-rise condos give residents a “false sense of security."
A recent Miami Herald article took a look back at Hurricane Andrew, the last major hurricane to hit Miami, and how it compares to what's expected from Irma:
According to a report by the reinsurance firm Swiss Re published earlier this summer, Miami-Dade County has grown so much in the 25 years since Hurricane Andrew that if the same storm swept through today on an identical path, the insured losses would be somewhere between $50 billion and $60 billion. That’s even without factoring in the loss of revenue from taxes and diminished tourism. (In 1992, Andrew’s toll reached $26.5 billion.)
Megan Linkin, an expert who co-authored the Swiss Re report, told the Herald:
"...Florida has not experienced a major hurricane landfall in 12 years, since Wilma [in 2005]. Before that, the frequency of major hurricane landfalls was lower than it had been in the early- and mid-20th century. During that time, the Miami real estate market exploded and a lot of people moved down there. We’re looking at a situation where all these chickens might be coming to roost — the consequence of the decisions to highly develop a hurricane-prone area.”
WESH Orlando meteorologist Eric Burris shared this side-by-side of the two storms on Facebook:
Independent Journal Review will keep you updated on Hurricane Irma.