US SCS and tornado activity may drive billions in losses, says Aon

Severe convective storms, tornadoes, strong winds, hail and flooding struck central United States throughout the last week, which could potentially result in a loss that runs into the billions of dollars, on both an economic and insured basis, Aon has said.

In the broker’s weekly cat report, it reveals that the week saw a continuous severe weather outbreak and flooding which impacted central US states between April 25 and May 2nd.

A number of powerful tornadoes caused catastrophic damage in Nebraska, Iowa, and Oklahoma, which resulted in many homes and businesses being completely destroyed.

“Heavy rainfall and flash flooding also impacted parts of Texas, Kansas, and Missouri. Overall, six people were killed and nearly 140 more were injured in the past week,” Aon states.

The broker highlighted that the April 25 – 26 tornado outbreak was particularly severe, with one of the most prolific tornado outbreaks in recent memory.

A staggering 136 preliminary tornado reports were submitted to the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) on April 26th alone.

As well as this, Aon noted that five EF-3 tornadoes took place in Nebraska and southwest Iowa, two of which prompted tornado emergencies and several areas near Omaha (NE) were considerably impacted by these tornadoes. The towns of Elkhorn (NE), Waterloo (NE), Bennington (NE), and Minden (IA), were heavily impacted.

On April 27, there was another SCS outbreak that resulted in 51 preliminary tornado reports, with central Oklahoma particularly feeling the affects.

According to Aon, the strongest tornado observed was rated an EF-4, with an estimated peak wind speed of 170 mph (274 kph) that directly impacted the town of Marietta (OK).

In fact, this was the first EF-4 twister recorded in central Oklahoma in nearly 8 years.

A further two EF-3 tornadoes caused significant impacts within the towns of Sulphur (OK) and Holdenville (OK).

Between April 28 and 29, there were more thunderstorms, which reached 80 mph (129 kph) wind gusts, as well as a few tornadoes primarily affecting parts of Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana, while torrential rain also saw flooding in southeast Texas.

Aon noted that another round of severe weather and intense rainfall returned to the central U.S. from April 30 to May 2.

Powerful storms featuring wind gusts up to 83 mph (134 kph) and hailstones up to 4.5 inches (11.4 cm) in diameter were seen primarily in Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas.

As well as this, another 40 preliminary tornado reports were sent to the SPC, which included an EF-3 tornado that struck the town of Westmoreland (KS) with an estimated 140 mph (225 kph) maximum wind speed.

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