AccuWeather: Total Damage and Economic Loss Caused by Southern Ice Storm about $12 Billion
Thursday, February 02, 2023
AccuWeather Global Weather Center - February 2, 2023 - AccuWeather preliminarily estimates the total damage and economic loss from the severe ice storm in the South, which led to widespread power outages and closures, hampered travel, the cancellation of thousands of flights, brought down trees and power lines through Texas, Arkansas, southern Oklahoma, and into Tennessee, and resulted in at least 10 deaths, to be $10 to $12 billion.
STORY: Deadly ice storm snarls travel across southern US
Jonathan Porter, AccuWeather Senior Vice President and Chief Meteorologist, shared that the situation would have been much worse if the power grid in Texas had not held up to the cold and storm. Had the grid failed, the negative impacts to the economy and people would have been much greater and long-lasting. Despite the grid overall remaining stable, as accurately forecast by AccuWeather ahead of all other sources, there was significant damage to power lines and transmission equipment in the hardest-hit areas, especially near Austin. It may take several additional days to even a week or more for power to be completely restored.
AccuWeather’s estimate largely accounts for the near shutdown of travel over a large area, preventing business and productivity, downed trees and power lines and resulting damage to homes and businesses, damage to automobiles from traffic accidents and deaths and injuries resulting from the storm.
The calculation is based on an analysis incorporating independent methods to evaluate all direct and indirect impacts of the storm, includes both insured and uninsured losses, and is based on a variety of sources, statistics, and unique techniques AccuWeather uses to estimate the damage, and includes damage to property, job and wage losses, infrastructure damage, interruption of the supply chain, auxiliary business losses and airport closures as well as flight delays. The estimate also accounts for the costs of evacuations, relocations, deployment of additional power crews, emergency management, and the government expenses for cleanup operations and the long-term effects on business logistics, transportation, and tourism.
Putting this AccuWeather preliminary estimate of total damage and economic loss into context – AccuWeather estimated the total damage and economic loss for the storms in California earlier this winter to be between $31 and $34 billion. The late December 2022 arctic outbreak and blizzard, including in the Buffalo, New York area, cost around $10 billion. Although recent events significantly negatively impact the economy, the impact falls well short of AccuWeather’s estimate for the total damage and economic impact of Hurricane Ian, which was 180 to 210 billion dollars. AccuWeather’s estimate for total damage and economic loss for Hurricane Nicole was 5-7 billion dollars.
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