Hurricane Ian to become the costliest hurricane in Florida history

Toni Koraza

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According to experts, hurricane Ian will cost somewhere between $60 to $70 billion, ranking among the costliest and most destructive storms ever to hit the United States.

Hurricane Ian is already the most expensive hurricane to ever hit Florida, and we're yet to feel the entire aftermath of this destructive force.

It's not just the money

"With respect to specific industries in Florida, you think of tourism and hospitality, and that's likely to take two levels of hits," says Chuck Watson, founder of Enki Research, which uses computer modeling to calculate the impact of natural disasters.

It is estimated that the storm, which made landfall in Florida on Wednesday as a Category 4 storm, will cost the tourism industry $8 billion, or 10% of the state's overall tourism income. This number reflects decreased tourism and temporary closures of hotels and theme parks.

The one positive thing, according to Watson, is that it's not peak tourism season.

"At least it is the off-season in between summer when people go to Florida and snowbird season, which hasn't quite started yet. It's fortunate from that standpoint. They have time to rebuild and recover because you get more tourism around Thanksgiving and Christmas," he said.

Additionally, it appears that the hurricane physically damaged residential and commercial real estate properties to the tune of billions of dollars. The cost of repairing or replacing damaged or destroyed structures is still unknown, and longer-term costs depend on how the economy will do in the future.

A significant loss of jobs for Florida workers could follow, judging by the current aftermath.

Meanwhile, a hurricane warning has already been issued for the whole coast of South Carolina, where the storm is expected to land after leaving Florida.

Are you worried about the aftermath of hurricane Ian?

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