Hurricane Matthew’s Economic Devastation To Florida

How Much Will Hurricane Matthew Cost Florida?

When a hurricane like Hurricane Matthew comes through, the amount of devastation is a foregone conclusion. Already, the world is seeing how destructive it has been and the amount of death it has caused. Haiti and most of the Caribbean countries lie in ruins and Florida is the next spot.

The death toll is already over 800 people after the storm swept through Haiti and it’s worrying officials that it’s not going to stop. While that has to weigh on the minds of officials, there is another cost that is going to be extracted—an economic one.

So what does a hurricane like Matthew cost? One can already imagine the amount of damage that will take place but there are other costs that crop up which can add to the dealing with the aftermath of a storm.

In 2006, Hurricane Katrina was categorized as a cat 5 hurricane and it was one of the most devastating storms in U.S. history. The thing about Katrina was that it actually did more harm after it was downgraded to a cat 3 hurricane. When it hit land on August 29th, Katrina caused $96-$126 billion worth of damage.

Waves from Hurricane Matthew batter a boat dock Friday, Oct. 7, 2016, in St. Augustine , Fla.  Matthew was downgraded to a Category 3 hurricane overnight, and its storm center hung just offshore as it moved up the Florida coastline, sparing communities its full 120 mph winds.  (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Waves from Hurricane Matthew batter a boat dock Friday, Oct. 7, 2016, in St. Augustine , Fla. 

Not to mention, it totally destroyed a lot of industries such as the fishing industry and the oil industry. For the multi-billion dollar fishing industry, it was hit especially hard as the sea life was nearly wiped out. Oysters, a delicacy that many food lovers enjoy, happened to be a great example of this as nearly $300 million worth of oysters were lost due to the storm.

As for the oil industry it took a huge blow as well. Katrina affected 19 percent of the oil industry when it hit. Between Katrina and Hurricane Rita , it destroyed 113 oilrigs and spilled enough oil to rival the Exxon Oil spill. Gas prices rose to nearly $5 per gallon.

Matthew may be long gone but the damage remains. Now, the state of Florida has to pick up the pieces in places like Jacksonville, St. Augustine and other areas that were damaged by the storm.

Hurricane Matthew Florida

“The economic cost of Hurricane Matthew will be at least in the $4 billion to $6 billion range, according to CoreLogic, a research and consulting firm,” in an article to Forbes. “CoreLogic’s estimates do not include “insured losses related to additional flooding, business interruption or contents. Of this $4-6 billion, 90 percent of the insurance claims are expected to be related to wind and 10 percent is expected to be related to storm surge.”

Some of the costs that CoreLogic’s estimates wouldn’t include would be power outages, loss of business at restaurants and grocery stores and business shuttering down in the face of the storm.

To put it in perspective, Hurricane Sandy’s insured property losses reached up to $20 billion and Katrina’s reached upwards of $40 billion.

Thomas Fernandez is the managing editor for Sports Talk Florida and News Talk Florida. He started his career in media by covering the NHL and the Tampa Bay Lightning. After covering the NHL for two years, he hopped on board the news cycle and has been covering both sports and news for the last year. He has covered major sporting events as well as politics which affects the Florida audience. Thomas is a Tampa native and graduate of the University of South Florida with a bachelor of arts in Public Relations.