Hurricane Michael Devastates Panhandle, Brings Wind and Rain to Carolinas
UPDATE — 10/11/2018
Residents of the Florida Panhandle will begin the long road to recovery today following Michael’s devastating impact. Hardest hit were Mexico Beach and Apalachicola, which endured 155 mph sustained winds during landfall. However, damage is severe from Panama City Beach to Tallahassee. Michael tore roofs from homes and buildings and left many homes a mass of rubble.
Michael then barreled through Georgia and Alabama, causing power outages, wind damage, and flying debris in areas unaccustomed to hurricane exposure. Still moving northeast, it is now bearing down on the Carolinas bringing with it 50 mph winds and heavy rain—a mere three weeks into the recovery effort following Hurricane Florence.
Crawford Catastrophe Services has already deployed many adjusters to affected areas, and more will be deployed this week and weekend as more claims are called in and adjusters travel to the Southeast to respond. Catastrophe Services President, Bev Trice, predicts that in addition to the Florida claims, there could be a surprising number of claims from Georgia. “Michael’s path through South Georgia was through heavily populated areas that are unlikely to have hurricane policies,” she said. “We also anticipate additional claims in the Carolinas as Michael makes its way back to the Atlantic.”
Kenneth Tolson, U.S. President, Crawford Claims Solutions, emphasized the severity of the storm and the toll it will take on affected residents and businesses. “This was a historical event, the strongest storm to make landfall on the Florida Panhandle on record,” said Tolson. “It will take all of Crawford’s resources to help insureds recover quickly, from Catastrophe Services for immediate response to Contractor Connection for restoration and repair. Our comprehensive technology and solutions can help manage the life of a claim, from FNOL to resolution,” he added.
UPDATE — 10/10/2018
Michael has intensified overnight, and officials warn that residents are risking their lives if they stay in the Panama City Beach, FL area and in areas south as far as Cedar Key. Winds are expected to be in excess of 100 mph along with storm surges of over nine to 14 feet in some areas. This is the strongest storm on record to hit the Florida Panhandle.
Crawford Catastrophe Services is setting up induction centers in Atlanta and Jacksonville to prepare adjusters to respond to claims as soon as conditions permit. Adjusters with a range of skills and experience have indicated that they are available in CAT’s RENOVO system. Our teams are ready to respond to claim surges as a result of Hurricane Michael.
“This storm will move quickly and will be deadly. In the hardest hit areas, we expect roofs to be destroyed and many structures to completely collapse,” said Catastrophe Services President, Beverly Trice. “Thankfully, the eye of the storm has shifted slightly east, sparing the most populated areas from the very worst of the storm,” she added.
UPDATE — 10/09/2018
Forecasters predict that Hurricane Michael could intensify to a Category 3 hurricane before it makes landfall on the Florida Panhandle tomorrow. Storm surges of up to 12 feet could occur in some areas and as much as eight inches of rain are possible. Though Michael is moving more swiftly than Florence, it is still a dangerous storm; officials have issued mandatory evacuations in areas along the Gulf Coast. Crawford Catastrophe Services adjusters are already planning to be available in the area, and we encourage clients to begin preparing for a surge in claim volume. Crawford can provide you with the support you need to respond quickly and efficiently. From pre-storm assessments by WeGoLook Lookers to TruLook’s claim triage for routing claims through the right channels from the outset, our technology, tools and teams will help you expedite claims when you need it most.
The Catastrophe Services team is watching Tropical Depression 14 as it moves through Mexico today. Forecasters are predicting that the storm will gain strength and become Tropical Storm Michael. The storm’s winds are currently at 35 mph but are likely to increase to up to 80 mph before making landfall on the Gulf Coast by Wednesday. The current track shows Michael striking Panama City Beach, FL before progressing through parts of Alabama and Georgia.
This storm is a moderate threat to residents and businesses in its path. The CAT team will continue to monitor this storm and update this page with new information as it becomes available.
For pre-storm assessments conducted by licensed drone operators, visit WeGoLook. Crawford has a solution for every stage of your storm preparation and response. Contact us at 800.854.3205 or firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how we can ensure that your response is seamless.