Losses From January Storms in Europe, U.S. Could Reach Into Hundreds of Millions

Four windstorms that hit Europe last month — along with severe weather in the U.S.– will likely cause economic losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars, according to Aon Benfield’s Impact Forecasting analysis unit.

The four windstorms – Elon, Felix, Gunter and Hermann – struck northwestern Europe between January 9 and 16 killing two people in the United Kingdom. The most damaging of the storms was Hermann, the report stated, which caused the most extreme weather, “Tornadoes, large hail, heavy snow, thundersnow, hurricane-force winds, and floods were all reported,” according to the report.

Economic and insured losses were expected to reach into the hundreds of millions of Euros, Aon Benfield said.

The combined economic losses from winter story in the U.S. is estimated at over $600 million, according to the report. An “Alberta Clipper” of severe cold weather between January 6 to 11 in central and eastern parts of the U.S  caused economic losses tied to property and business interruption that were estimated at roughly $100 million.

In addition, a late month Noreaster that struck the U.S. caused significant damage. “Strong winds caused power outages, while the storm surge inundated several coastal towns,” the report stated. “Total economic damages and losses (including business interruption) were estimated minimally at [$500] million.”

Floods in Africa, South America and Asia were also cited as large loss events during the month.

Seasonal floods in Malawi that killed least 176 and inundating 158,100 acres of land with water and serious damaging the agriculture sector.120 people died in  Mozambique and at least 11,000 homes were destroyed. The combined economic losses as a result of those storms is estimated at $450 million, of which at least $390 million were incurred in Malawi, according to Impact Forecasting.


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