September 17, 2013
They were nothing like the remnants of Hurricane Ike, which blew through Ohio five years ago, or the derecho — powerful straight-line winds that pounded the state in summer 2012.
Nevertheless, the severe thunderstorms on July 10 were damaging enough to cause between $71.5 million and $84.8 million in insured losses in Ohio, according to a report released yesterday by the Ohio Insurance Institute.
Two weeks of rain led up to the high winds and storms that knocked down trees and power lines and caused flooding. An estimated 263,000 homes and businesses lost power at the height of the storms, which spawned three tornadoes.
The estimates are based on information collected from 26 insurers representing about 75 percent of the auto and homeowner markets in the state.
“This is just 26 companies,” said Mitch Wilson, an institute spokesman. “There’s quite a few others. We anticipate the figures will be higher.”
This is the 10th major natural disaster to hit Ohio since 2011, the state insurance group said.
The July losses were small compared to the $1.3 billion in losses when Ike’s winds struck or the $845 million in losses from the severe storms in June and July 2012.
Still, they represent another in a growing list of powerful storms that have struck the state in recent years.
Citing National Weather Service data, the insurance group said some areas of the state had more than 8 inches of rain in the two weeks before the final round of rain.
The estimate does not include losses for uninsured property or flood-related losses.
The survey counted 16,288 claims, about 70 percent of them stemming from homeowner losses. The remaining claims were for auto and business losses.
The storm caused wind and water damage to roofs, gutters, ceilings and walls. Power failures caused water problems and kept businesses from operating normally.