North America

Tornado outbreak cost could exceed $1 billion

Brian Duitsman carries his 5-year-old son Levi and is followed by Colby (age 8) out of their destroyed house in Gifford, Ill., on Monday, Nov. 18, 2013. (Photo: Rick Danzl, AP)The cost of the deadly and devastating tornado and severe weather outbreak Sunday in the Midwest could top $1 billion, according to RMS, a risk management firm.
Although damage estimates are far from final, Sunday's outbreak could exceed the billion-dollar mark, making it the costliest severe weather event for the insurance industry ever to occur in November, RMS reported.
"Sunday's big tornado outbreak is yet another atypical storm of what has been an unusual 2013 severe weather season," said Matthew Nielsen, director and meteorologist at RMS. Before Sunday, the 2013 tornado season had been one of the calmest in decades.
The storm outbreak on Sunday will likely rank as one of the top five most significant November outbreaks since 1950, RMS reported.
Other destructive tornado outbreaks occurred in 1992, 2002, 2002, and 2005, according to Weather Underground meteorologist Jeff Masters. All of those outbreaks occurred farther south, however.
The six deaths in Illinois made Sunday the deadliest November tornado outbreak on record for the state, according to Weather Underground weather historian Christopher Burt.
The previous deadliest November day in Illinois was Nov. 9, 1864, when a tornado killed 5 people in Perry County, Ill.
So far this year, there have been seven separate weather disasters that have led to at least $1 billion in losses, according to global reinsurance firm Aon Benfield, Five of them have been severe weather events, led by the deadly tornado outbreak in Oklahoma in late May.

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