September 25th, 2009

Flooding in Southeast United States

Posted at 12:50 PM ET

small-flooding-in-united-statesHeavy rainfall across south eastern parts of the United States over the first half of this week resulted in several fatalities and extensive damage to property and infrastructure. Georgia has been the worst affected state. According to the State Insurance Commissioner, the flooding in Georgia has claimed nine lives and caused around USD250 million in damage to property and tens of millions of dollars in further damage to infrastructure.

It was reported that the governor of Georgia had declared a state of emergency in 17 of the worst-affected counties and had requested President Barack Obama to declare a state of emergency for Georgia as a whole.



Flooding struck Georgia on Monday September 21, 2009 after nearly two feet (17 centimeters) of rain fell in the Atlanta area. According to a state climatologist at the University of Georgia, some parts of Atlanta received the heaviest rain seen in the city for more than 100 years. Reports said that several of the smaller tributaries that flow through the city became torrents, with water levels rising up to 20 feet (7 meters). Six of Georgia’s nine deaths occurred to the west of Atlanta, in Douglas County.

As of September 23, the Georgia Emergency Management Agency said that about 320 displaced residents were still living in the seven shelters located around Georgia. The State Insurance Commissioner said that only 20 percent of the private buildings damaged in the state would be covered by flood insurance, adding in a statement that many homeowners affected by the event were not insured for flood.



Hazard data illustrated in the CAT-i map was taken from i-aXs®, Guy Carpenter’s web-based risk management platform. i-aXs users can view impacted areas on any map as well as see how their portfolios were affected. Please contact your broker or Instrat® representative for assistance or go to for further information.

The flooding was also reported to have affected Tennessee and Alabama states. In Tennessee, one person was presumed drowned by officials, after being pulled under rushing water in Chattanooga, around 115 miles (185 kilometers) north of Atlanta. In Alabama, flash flood alerts were given in central parts of the state, where intense flooding has made numerous roads impassable.

The storms were reported to be relenting as of September 23, although many of the affected areas have been left standing in stagnant water, bringing with it the threat of bacterial contamination.

Sources: Agence France Presse, Associated Press, CNN News, Reuters News

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Guy Carpenter’s Instrat® department provides CAT-i reports for major natural catastrophes worldwide. These reports cover catastrophes including worldwide tropical cyclones, earthquakes, major UK and European floods and any other natural event that is likely to incur a significant loss to the (re)insurance industry. Please email if you wish to be added to the free email distribution list.

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