3/6/2014 - Aberrant Atlanta snowstorm brings $25 million in insurance losses
The freak snowstorm that affected the Atlanta, Ga. area this past January - a part of the country that rarely sees snow - took a heavy toll on commuters, homeowners and business owners, and newly released numbers show just how much it wound up costing in insurance losses.
Ralph Hudgens, Georgia's insurance commissioner, recently indicated that the late-January storm resulted in $25 million in property insurance damage. He stipulated, however, that this is a preliminary estimate; the total could move higher as more claims are filed. Additionally, he noted that the estimate could exceed this figure when more carriers release their figures as to how many policyholders sought to be compensated for damage they incurred.
This past cold weather season was a memorable one for all the wrong reasons in Atlanta. Numerous media outlets reported on the traffic nightmare that resulted when a snowstorm blanketed the metropolitan area, causing delays at airports and accidents on the roads. Some individuals were forced to abandon their vehicles, or stay in them overnight, because volume was so high that motorists couldn't move.
Some individuals affected by the logjam indicated that it could have been avoided had they been sufficiently apprised of the impending storm.
"We still have challenges in how weather information is consumed, interpreted, or viewed by policymakers and decision-makers," said J. Marshall Shepherd, president of the American Meteorological Society and director of the atmospheric sciences program at the University of Georgia, according to The Weather Channel. "This is ultimately the root of the Atlanta mess … I don't believe 'anyone' is necessarily to blame."