Idalia Weakens to Tropical Storm as it Moves into South Carolina and North Carolina

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Idalia has weakened to a tropical storm as it moves into South Carolina and North Carolina on Thursday, after making landfall in Florida as a major hurricane on Wednesday.

According to website, more than 300,000 customers were without power in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina as of early Thursday. The National Hurricane Center also warned early on Thursday that there were widespread areas of life-threatening flash flooding in southeastern North Carolina.

Estimated Insured Losses

Preliminary estimates before Idalia made landfall implied average insured losses of around $9.4 billion, according to analysts at UBS, citing preliminary estimates from RMS, a catastrophe risk modeling firm under Moody’s. It said that should be largely contained within the insurance sector’s expected catastrophe losses for the quarter.

Insurance broker BMS Group estimated that industry insured losses would be between $3 billion and $6 billion, now likely to be at the lower end of that range. “This is not the devastating event that was feared 24 hours ago,” it said**.**

However, Idalia made landfall at a much more sparsely populated region than Hurricane Ian last year, suggesting significantly lower losses than the $112 billion in damage caused by that storm.

Minimal Damage to Tampa International Airport

Tampa International Airport in Florida said it would resume full operations on Thursday, having avoided any serious damage during the storm.

Air Travel Disruption Eases

Air travel disruption also appeared to be easing early Thursday, with 153 flights within, into, or out of the U.S. canceled as of 6:30 a.m. Eastern time. This comes after close to 5,000 flights were delayed and 1,100 flights were canceled on Wednesday, according to data from flight-tracker FlightAware. The major U.S. airlines had all canceled less than 2% of their flights.

Stock Market Impact

Insurance stocks were little changed in the premarket on Tuesday. Southwest Airlines (ticker: LUV) and United Airlines (UAL) stocks were both moving up 0.5% in the premarket on Thursday, recouping losses from the previous day. Delta Air Lines (DAL) shares were flat.

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