Damage From Hurricane Matthew Will Cost Florida Millions

Hurricane Sandy destructionThe aftermath of Hurricane Matthew has been devastating in many parts of the world. The Haitian government has officially reported 271 deaths as a result of the storm, and many Americans are thankful that the hurricane’s impact wasn’t worse here in the United States.

But even areas that didn’t get the brunt of the damage are feeling the storm’s massive effect. Though the Carolinas were hit the hardest, Florida sustained a massive amount of destruction — and four confirmed deaths — during Hurricane Matthew.

Florida’s east coast felt the force of the storm the most, as Port Canaveral and Daytona Beach have released estimates for the damages.
The port’s chief executive officer, John Murray, estimates that the cost of the damages could reach up to $7 million. Property appraisers in Volusia County (the popular tourist destination that encompasses Daytona Beach) say that the hurricane caused more than $67 million in damages to the area’s hotels and motels alone.

To put it into perspective, the structural water damage costs around $2,386 to fix. The removal of standing water costs a bit more on average, at around $2,688. Wind damage can cost anywhere from $5,757 up to $10,000 or more.

Clearly, the wind and water damage that resulted from Hurricane Matthew is far more expansive than that of a typical storm. The maximum winds from the hurricane clocked in at 105 miles per hour. Hurricane-force winds extended up to 60 miles out from the storm’s center, and the surrounding area experienced pounding rain.

Not surprisingly, the storm had a marked effect on properties up and down the coast. The director of Daytona Beach Shores’s Holiday Inn Express and Suites said that 90% of the hotel’s rooms had water intrusion. In addition, Hurricane Matthew blew out the majority of the hotel’s windows, and every room requires carpet removal and replacement.

Stories were similar or even worse throughout the area. The Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort, the largest hotel in the area, suffered major wind damage and flooding. Its cabana suites were thoroughly destroyed. Though many of the establishments will remain closed for weeks or even months while repairs are underway, the Hilton managed to re-open soon after the storm passed.

Port Canaveral sustained much less damage than the properties in Daytona Beach, but the costs will still be considerable. The damage to the port’s buildings, including roof damage and leaks, could cost $2 million to $3 million to repair. Figures are still being calculated, but any additional damage to port roads and extensive repair work could cause the repair costs to climb to $5 million or even $7 million.

Though the port did lose some business as a result of the storm, it was able to reopen quickly — a day after the storm had passed over the area, in fact. Had the storm passed closer to the port, the damages could have been much more catastrophic.

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