Irene: Less Than $5 Million Insured Damage in South Carolina

By BRUCE SMITH | September 1, 2011

Hurricane Irene’s brush with the South Carolina coast last week caused less than $5 million in insured damage, an insurance industry spokesman said Wednesday.

Russ Dubisky, the executive director of the South Carolina Insurance News Service, said its member companies had received only about 300 claims for damage by midday Wednesday.

He said that number of claims is about the same insurance companies might receive as the result of a severe summer thunderstorm. The news service is funded by insurers who write about 70 percent of the insurance in South Carolina.

The State Emergency Management Division said it has no dollar figure on uninsured losses but that the damage in South Carolina from Irene, which passed through Friday and early Saturday, was minor. Damage was generally confined to beach erosion, some street flooding and downed power lines.

At the height of the storm, about 8,000 electric customers were left without power.

The National Weather Service reported that 3.6 inches of rain fell near Myrtle Beach during Irene. A wind gust of 62 mph was reported at the city’s Springmaid Pier.

Some of the worst damage was along the state’s central coast where boardwalks were damaged at both Sullivans Island and in Folly Beach. The damage at Folly Beach County Park prompted county officials to close the park until repairs are made.

Irene brushed by the state and made landfall near the Outer Banks of North Carolina on Saturday before heading up the Atlantic coast.

The storm has been blamed for at least 44 deaths in 13 states and total losses from Irene are expected to be about $7 billion.

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