Changes in extreme weather, such as tropical cyclones, are one of the most serious ways society experiences the impact of climate change. Advance forecasted conditional attribution statements, using a numerical model, were made about the anthropogenic
A new study by Zurich North America investigates the 2018 floods following Hurricane Florence in North Carolina. Recognising that we will have to adapt to a new standard of "normal" concerning floods, the study shares lessons learned from the disaster and provides recommendations for enhancing flood resilience around the world.
This study, written collaboratively by Zurich North America, the Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance, and ISET-International, looks in detail at the 2018 floods and their consequences that resulted from Hurricane Florence in North Carolina. Based on
Institute for Social and Environmental Transition - International
Zurich North America
Following Hurricane Florence, people and businesses in North Carolina are missing an opportunity to improve their resilience. Zurich insurance takes a closer look at the floods and resulting consequences following the 2018 Hurricane, focusing on opportunities, successes and learnings.
The impact from hurricanes Michael and Florence was compounded by outdated infrastructure unable to withstand the storms of today, let alone those yet to come. As hurricane-stricken states transition from response to recovery, it is critical that infrastructure be rebuilt to better withstand floods — which should be a condition of state and federal assistance.
Across the three states that Florence hit hardest - North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia - the cost to rebuild is staggering. Property damages amount to USD 45 billion, while both insured and uninsured flood losses total 47 billion. Insured losses and wind damages account for billions more.
New research shows that sea level rise since 1970 caused Hurricane Florence’s storm surge to significantly affect more than 11,000 homes. The study also found that at the sea level projected for 2050, approximately 15 inches above current levels, the same storm surge from Hurricane Florence would affect approximately 102,000 homes.
The Netherlands invests over a billion dollars annually in its flood management infrastructure, and has not experienced a Katrina-like disaster in over 60 years. By implementing Dutch strategies, including developing storm surge barriers, dunes, storm runoff points, and mobility plans, the U.S. could have mitigated Florence's damage.
As climate change causes the poles to warm faster than the Tropics, the temperature gradient is also reducing. This reduction then limits the energy of the currents that steer cyclones, slowing them and weather systems down. Hurricane Florence was subsequently able to stall over North Carolina and unleash tremendous amounts of water because of this phenomenon.