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Hurricane Ida could be 'costliest storm' in Louisiana history, insurance official says

 A closer view of flooded homes in Jean Lafitte, Louisiana, after Hurricane Ida. Aug 31, 2021
Satellite Image ©2021 Maxar Technologies
A closer view of flooded homes in Jean Lafitte, Louisiana, after Hurricane Ida. Aug 31, 2021

Hurricane Ida could be Louisiana’s most expensive hurricane in the state’s history, said Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon in a Tuesday interview with WWNO/WRKF.

"The projections are that there will be between $20 and $40 billion paid by insurers for wind losses as a result of Hurricane Ida,” Donelon said on Louisiana Considered.

That figure only accounts for private insurers. It doesn’t include claims paid by FEMA’s flood insurance program or economic damages.

"If it goes over $23 billion, it'll be the costliest hurricane in the state's history, and the likelihood is that will happen based on the expert analysis of the damage,” he continued.

Donelon said that the first insurance provider payout reports for damages from Hurricane Ida won’t be available until the end of 2021.

"A final data report is due (this week) on 2020 hurricane losses from Laura, Delta and Zeta,” he said, “which resulted in more than $10 billion being paid, $8.6 (billion) for Laura in the Lake Charles area.”

Lake Charles has yet to receive federal aid for long-term relief, and officials said the aid they’ve been promised isn’t enough.

“Laura was clearly the second-largest loss event in the state's history, and Ida will surely exceed that,” Donelon said.

For the full interview, click the player above.

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Adam is responsible for coordinating WRKF's programming and making sure everything you hear on the radio runs smoothly. He is Newscast Editor for the WRKF/WWNO Newsroom. Adam is also the Baton Rouge-based host for Louisiana Considered, our daily regional news program, and is frequently the local voice afternoons on All Things Considered.
Aubry is a reporter, producer and operations assistant in Baton Rouge.