Tropical Storm Imelda Leads to Large Losses, Disaster Declaration
The effects of Tropical Storm Imelda are still being felt after it dropped more than 41 inches of rain on some parts of southeast Texas last week. The storm, which is the United States’ fifth wettest tropical cyclone, is being compared to Hurricane Harvey, though some areas are experiencing even worse flooding now than they did in 2017 during Harvey.
Insurance broker Aon projected that Imelda is expected to cause hundreds of millions of dollars in total economic losses. Due to a high proportion of flood-related damages, Aon also estimates that a lower-than-normal portion of the economic cost will be covered by private insurance. However, it is too early to put a specific number on the damage caused by the weather event.
In response to the flooding and severe weather, Texas Governor Greg Abbott declared a state of emergency on Thursday, September 19, 2019, in Brazoria, Chambers, Galveston, Hardin, Harris, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Newton, Orange, and San Jacinto counties. The disaster declaration will allow the use of state resources to respond to the damages sustained in these counties.
The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) has issued tips for victims of flooding, including information on home and auto damage. TDI has also published recovery resources on how to file claims, get help, and avoid scams and fraud. Those needing more information are encouraged to call TDI’s Consumer Help Line at 1-800-252-3439. The phone line is available from Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. central time.