Tropical Storm Fay Leaves About $400M in Insured Losses Behind

By Jim Sams | July 15, 2020

Tropical Storm Fay managed to cause about $400 million in insured losses after coming ashore in Atlantic City, New Jersey on July 10 with 60 mph wind, even though it was downgraded to a tropical depression only nine hours after landfall, according to an estimate by Karen Clark & Co.

KCC said Fay brought damaging winds to parts of Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York. Hundreds of downed trees were reported in New York City alone, the Boston-based catastrophe modeling firm said. New Jersey and Pennsylvania also experienced tree damage that resulted in “infrastructure disruption,” KCC said.

Scattered power outages were reported in New York and New Jersey after Fay downed power lines, but most were resolved quickly, KCC said. Low-level storm surge stretched from South Carolina to New York.

The storm petered out over Canada about 24 hours after making landfall, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Local news outlets reported scattered damages:

  • Residents in the Canarsie neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York reported that sewage had backed up in their basements, according to Spectrum News 1. A city official said flood waters had pushed litter and debris into the sewage system.
  • Floodwaters covered the streets with mud in the Pennsport neighborhood of South Philadelphia, forcing some residents to shovel muck off their front steps, according to a report by the local CBS News affiliate. Residents said for the past year, their streets become a mess every time it rains because contractors are replacing sewer and water lines.
  • Streets and some homes in Hoboken, New Jersey were flooded, according to several news reports. Mayor Ravi Bhalla said damage would have been worse had the city not installed flood pumps and “resiliency parks” that store stormwater. Those pumps were functioning but could not keep pace with a deluge that came down right after high tide, restricting outflow, the mayor said.

Fay was the earliest Atlantic “F” named storm in history, forming 12 days earlier than the previous record holder, 2005’s Tropical Storm Franklin. It was the first tropical storm to come ashore in New Jersey since Irene in 2011. (KCC said Superstorm Sandy, which struck New Jersey in 2012, was a post-tropical storm.)

KCC said its estimate includes privately insured wind and storm surge damage to residential, commercial and industrial properties, as well as automobiles. But it does not include any National Flood Insurance Program losses.

Steve Evans, owner of Artemis, said Fay’s “track into high-value New York and New Jersey provides a stark warning of what could be to come as the 2020 hurricane season progresses.

“With a little more time over warmer waters Fay could easily have had time to intensify into a hurricane before its landfall, with the resulting damage higher,” Evans said in a report posted Tuesday.

Fay was the second tropical storm to make landfall in the U.S. during this year’s hurricane season, which started on June 1. KCC said Tropical Storm Cristobal caused about $150 million in insured losses after coming ashore in Louisiana on June 10, according to KCC.

Power outages were reported in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama after Cristobal came ashore with 40 mph wind, KCC said.

About Jim Sams

Sams is editor of the Claims Journal, which is part of the Wells Media Group. He can be reached at More from Jim Sams

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