Ian just exploded.


Super Anarchist
New Orleans
Thanks to all you Charleston reporters and relayers, gives me some peace of mind about Aileen, a wonderful person, and "last woman/Mom standing" from my postwar childhood neighborhood, Birch Street in Marblehead. I really like her and she has invited us to stay with her during hurricanes past, though we ultimately hadn't needed to.
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Blue Crab

Outer Banks
My Beaufort, nc friend says downtown Front St has kayakers. All closed. Low bridges are underwater. Many people are trapped in bars by inches of rain as I finger this, 400 miles from the storm.


Super Anarchist
The belt
Wind is down, few sprinkles, lots of sirens. Our power was out for a few hours. Lots of water everywhere but I believe this nasty fellow is leaving the Charleston area. Interesting that he made landfall 3 times on his long meander and though it wasn't fully apocalyptic here, the energy was still pretty impressive.
The politicians started a State Owned insurance company called "Citizen's Insurance Company." At first they underwrote, used actuaries to do the mathematics, statistics, etc. to determine pricing. But the people of Florida kept complaining. They threw out actuary underwriting, and started using political underwriting - drop the price so the politicians stay in office. Citizens is the #2 insurer in the State.

Should Citizens not have enough money to pay the claims from Ian, the taxpayers of the State are the backstop by law. Look for an extra tax bill in Florida in the coming years to make up for political underwriting and "cheap premiums" those people got.

Hurricane Ian damages in Southeast estimated at $100B to $120B

Sure hope that fund is loaded…
Thoughts go out to the residents of Sanibel ( and everyone else, naturally). We had a second home on the island growing up so spent most school vacations there. Have always still felt very attached. Seeing the devastation is heartbreaking. Good luck 🤞


Super Anarchist
New England
In the old days on the Outer Banks:
A beach house was made of cinderblock and had cheap furniture. A hurricane repair was getting all the sand out of the house and getting more cheap stuff.
Now it is all McMansions that cost millions insured with our tax dollars through federal flood insurance :rolleyes:
Huh? Been going there since 1975 - every house on stilts. Some cinderblock places - the Pink Shell! But not the norm.

Grande Mastere Dreade

Snag's spellchecker
That's an interesting question. Can't they just raise premiums to cover projected losses?

And I thought that several states passed fairly rigorous hurricane oriented building codes; can't they just extend those to docks/moorings/storage? I suspect that any structure built where an old one got wiped out by a hurricane will be required to be re-built to withstand that same force (or greater) hurricane. Is that not so?

it wasn't the winds, I would think 10'-15' deep water being pushed by 140mph winds did most of the damage..


I have always known that hip ended roofs do better in hurricanes than gable roofs but these videos sure bear that out. I see hip roofs with dormers that seem to further break up the aero lift that is what strips roofs off in these sort of high winds. Good example here



Super Anarchist
I have always known that hip ended roofs do better in hurricanes than gable roofs but these videos sure bear that out. I see hip roofs with dormers that seem to further break up the aero lift that is what strips roofs off in these sort of high winds. Good example here

View attachment 544299
Certainly insurance companies encourage hip roofs. It's not just the roof configuration in FL, however: it's the building codes that were in effect when the house and/or roof was built.

The intact houses or roofs in the pictures were probably built within the last 20 years, during which time FL building codes have gotten progressively tougher. Notice that most of the intact roofs in the picture are modern standing seam metal roofs. That looks like a flat membrane roof half in the water in the foreground of that photo. It may have lifted off almost intact, at which point the structure underneath had little chance of survival.

We live on the east coast of Florida, in a small seaside town about an hour's drive north of Palm Beach. We had near-direct hits by two major hurricanes in succession in the fall of 2004. Our two-story Mediterranean-style townhouse had a barrel tile roof that peeled off during those hurricanes, and only the fact that we were there at the time prevented major interior damage, as we could secure windows that blew open.

Others in our community were not so lucky, as roofs came off, casement windows blew open, and driving rain saturated the interiors. My wife says she'll never forget the sound of the tile roofs "unzipping" and crashing into windows and walls of adjacent houses.

We drove around looking at house damage, and most of those that had no obvious exterior damage had new metal roofs.

Fast forward a year, and we sold that house (with its brand-new tile roof) and bought an older single-story reinforced concrete house in town that still had blue tarps on the damaged shingle roof.

When we expanded, rebuilt, and re-roofed that house two years later, we did everything to the 2007 building codes, which required reinforcing the connections between the roof trusses and the reinforced concrete walls, which is standard modern construction on or near the waterfront on the east coast of FL. We also went to Miami-Dade hurricane-certified windows and doors, and a state-of-the-art standing-seam steel roof with no exposed fasteners, over a secondary waterproof membrane.

The roof plywood had to be re-nailed to current standards, which require stainless steel ring-shank nails into every rafter at 6" intervals. On the original part of the house, we also installed a second layer of plywood over the first layer, nailed the same but with all the joints staggered over the first layer. The engineer who had to sign off on that thought we were a little nutty, but having built boats, I wanted something that would survive a hurricane if possible. The pull-out strength of a roof screw--metal roofs are screwed on-- is significantly higher when the screw penetrates a 1 1/4" substrate rather than a 5/8" substrate.

That combination of hurricane upgrades saves us about $5000 on our yearly insurance bill, and the upgrades have already pretty much paid for themselves in reduced insurance costs over the last 15 years.

After our recent encounter with Ian--which passed about 75 miles W of us--we had zero house damage, but a lot of yard and garden cleanup from palm and oak damage. That has been the story with every named storm we have had since we did those upgrades. Granted, we have not had a direct hit from a cat 4 hurricane, either.

We have a massive live oak with a canopy over 75' wide overhanging our house. We spent a lot of money in May having an arborist trim that one plus another half-dozen smaller oaks. Even after that, the big one probably lost another 25% of its canopy during Ian.

That big oak, plus the fact that we are only about 7' above flood tide level, is the achilles heel of our current house.

A big part of the problem with Ian was storm surge, particularly since much of FL in that area is almost completely flat. If you combine that with older construction, especially with enclosed living spaces on the ground floor of waterfront or-near waterfront property, frame construction (or even mobile homes), and shingle roofs, it was all a recipe for disaster.

I feel for those people--including friends of mine on Pine Island I have not yet heard from. When you live on the coast, particularly in FL, you are just one wobble in a hurricane's track away from disaster.

We are expecting a massive hit in property insurance costs next year, maybe to the point where we consider self-insuring, with only an umbrella liability policy rather than property damage.


One Wobble Away

Sounds like a great title for a song about living in the Hurricane Belt along the Gulf. Or the East Coast either for that matter...

Not what I pictured



Super Anarchist
I think I pay $1200 a year for homeowner's insurance. We did switch to USAA, Allstate - which sucks balls anyway - said they wanted out of anything on an island.
My insurance is also through USAA. They apparently have different underwriters depending on where you live.

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