AIR Worldwide Says Insured Losses from Humberto Likely Won’t Top $200M

September 19, 2007

Boston-based catastrophe risk modeling company AIR Worldwide Corporation reported insured wind losses from Hurricane Humberto are unlikely to exceed $200 million. The estimate covers insured wind losses to property, contents, business interruption and additional living expenses for onshore properties.

Air Worldwide’s estimate is lower than the $500 million previously estimated by California-based Risk Management Solutions (RMS).

Humberto slammed into southeastern Texas at 2:00 a.m. on Sept. 13. The Category 1 storm swept ashore between Galveston and Port Arthur at the coastal community of High Island and moved into southwestern Louisiana. Winds were reported at 85 mph.

Flooding from Humberto closed State Highway 87 just south of Port Arthur, isolating Sabine Pass, which serves the Beaumont-Port Arthur region.

Port Arthur, an important refining center about 16 miles southeast of Beaumont, received rain at a rapid rate from Humberto — about 2 inches per hour. Strong winds in Port Arthur cut power to Europe’s third-largest oil refinery, Total SA, which produces 240,000 barrels of oil a day. Valero Energy Corp, which also closed due to the storm, produces 325,000 barrels daily.

Five hours after slow-moving Humberto came ashore, its peak winds decreased slightly, to 80 mph. The storm moved northeast at 12 mph with 65 mph maximum sustained winds.

Humberto is the third hurricane of the 2007 Atlantic season and the first to hit the mainland US. According to the National Weather Service the highest rainfall in Texas was on the Bolivar Peninsula of Galveston Island, which received 6 1/2 inches of rain.

Source: Air Worldwide,

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