Convective storms & Mississippi tornado cause hundreds of millions in losses: Aon

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Over the last wake an outbreak of severe convective storms in the United States that also included the deadly tornado event that devastated the towns of Rolling Fork and Silver City in Mississippi are together anticipated to drive hundreds of millions of dollars worth of insurance market losses, according to Aon.

Aon’s Impact Forecasting, the risk modelling and weather forecasting unit of the insurance and reinsurance broker, said that the deadly outbreak of severe convective weather, including several killer tornadoes, impacted a number of states in the lower Mississippi River Valley and the Southeast of the United States between March 23rd to 27th.

At least 22 lives were lost through tornado activity this week, with dozens also injured and widespread property damage experienced.

Large hail was also a feature of the severe convective storm outbreak in the last week, while straight-line winds and localised flooding caused by heavy rainfall also impacted the region.

Because of the widespread nature of the severe weather outbreak and severe structural damage reported, Aon’s Impact Forecasting said that “Total economic and insured losses from the event were initially anticipated to reach into the hundreds of millions USD.”

On March 24th the most severe impacts were seen from tornadic activity, the most significant of which was an EF-4 rated tornado that impacted the towns of Rolling Fork, Midnight and Silver City in Mississippi, tracking 59.4 mi (96 km).

The cities of Rolling Fork, Midnight and Silver City in Mississippi were the worst affected by the long-tracked, violent EF4 tornado, with substantial material losses and deaths.

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Property damage was significant, with most of the city of Rolling Fork affected.

Further intense EF3-tornadoes were also reported and widespread material and tree damage was experienced across Black Hawk, Winona, Amory and Smithville communities in Mississippi, resulting in several additional fatalities and injuries.

By March 30th, Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MSEMA) had reported that around 2,000 houses were damaged or destroyed, the majority in Monroe (1,476) and Sharkey (255) Counties.

A further 90 homes were damaged in Troup and Meriweather Counties in Georgia, after several tornadoes that occurred on March 25th and 26th, the strongest one reaching an intensity of EF3.

Aon’s Impact Forecasting team summarised, “The widespread impacts associated with this multi-day outbreak are likely to result in notable economic losses, as well as another costly event for the insurance industry. Aggregated effects of the storms were anticipated to reach into the hundreds of millions USD.”

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