When hurricanes strike they leave behind mass destruction in their wake. Whenever it happens in the US, the suffering state usually takes anywhere between months to years in recouping the financial losses. The costs are felt long after the flood waters have receded, the broken power poles have been repaired, uprooted trees removed, roads cleared, sanitation returned, and industry gets back to normal again. A curious fact is that the deadliest hurricanes that caused maximum damage to life are not usually amongst the most expensive ones. Factors such as day of the week, place of landfall, time of the year, whether the hurricane made landfall during high tide.
·At number one is Katrina which hit New Orleans in 2005. It caused damage upwards of $200 billion, which is more than the GDP of probably half the countries on earth. The amount is two-thirds of the stimulus package of $287 billion that Obama has announced; the figure is THAT huge. Katrina is one of the three category five storms to have ever hit the US and New Orleans bore the brunt of its fury.
·Before Katrina, it was Hurricane Andrew that held the record for the most expensive hurricane in the US. It lashed Florida and Louisiana in 1992 and caused damage worth $44 billion; a staggering amount for the three – four days that Andrew remained in strength over the US. Yet, peanuts compared to the damage caused by Katrina. Interestingly, Hurricane Andrew started life as a tropical wave off the west coast ofAfrica.
·Hurricane Charley that hit Florida in 2004 developed as a tropical depression off the coast of Barbados and hit Florida as a category 4 hurricane with winds touching 150 mph. Charley was a small hurricane but very ferocious; it led to 16 tornadoes in Florida, North Carolina and Virginia and cost America $15 billion.
·Hurricane Ivan touched land at GulfShores. Alabama in 2004. It was a category 5 hurricane in the Caribbean and created wind speeds in excess of 120 mph when it touched the GulfShores off Alabama. It spawned more than a 100 tornadoes as it moved inland and caused damage worth $14.2 billion before it finally subsided.
·Hurricane Hugo, another one with a male name targeted Charleston, South Carolina in 1989 and caused storm tides as high as 20 ft in the CapeRomain-BullsBay area. It left the US poorer by $7 billion.
·Hurricane Agnes was category I hurricane even at its most violent. It hit South and North Eastern United States in 1972. Inspite of being a relatively mild hurricane, Agnes caused damage worth $2.1 billion. The damage was caused by flooding and heavy rains.
·Hurricane Betsy visited Southeast Florida and Southeast Louisiana in 1965. Betsy fell just short of being categorized at number 5. Betsy earned the nickname “Billion Dollar Betsy” because it was the first hurricane ever to cause damage touching $1 billion. Adjusting for inflation that amount today is around $11 billion.
·Hurricane Frances hit Florida in 2004; it was only a category 2 hurricane and yet cost the country $8.9 billion in damages. Frances launched over a 100 tornadoes throughout the southeastern and mid-Atlantic states.
·Hurricane Camille hit Mississippi, SE Louisiana, and Virginia in 1969 and notched up the record for being the second most intense hurricane ever to hit the United States. Storms and flash floods caused damage worth $8.8 billion.
·Hurricane Diane ravaged the north coast from Virginia to New York in 1955 and its massive flooding resulted in damages of $6.9 billion.
David G. - July - 2018 - Sarasota, Florida
We wanted to self-install so we bought accordions and roll downs from Empire Construction.We measured our window and patio and sent Empire the specs.The shutters were an exact match.Installation is very doable for two reasonably mechanical people. In this case it was only one mechanical person and some extra hands. The accordions were a breeze as installation was mostly marking holes for spots, drilling holes, and screwing them in.Our accordions have locking pins that hold them open and act as a second lock when closed. Even if a projectile breaks the lock the rods will keep the shutters closed.These shutters are Bertha HV1. They are High Velocity Hurricane Zone Approved. Having seen a wide range of shutters we are extremely happy with the quality of the product we received!!
Jim J. - June - 2018 - Homestead , Florida
I installed fourteen aluminum accordion shutters which I purchased from Empire Construction.I could not be happier with my choice.The shutters are made very well and are powder-coated.The purchase included all of the required hardware which was powder-coated to match the shutters.The company is very customer-oriented.Michael and his staff were wonderful.They were attentive, helpful, and a delight to work with.The installation video on the website made the installation very easy.I highly recommend Empire Construction to anyone considering a purchase of hurricane shutters. Thanks again. Please say Hi to everyone,