Wind Driven Oil: The Gulf Coast and an Oil Spill in Hurricane Season

On any given day my office is prepared to remind inland residential property owners how much worse their $5,000 claim for water damage could have been.  While we are sympathetic to the average homeowners property claim, one mention of Hurricane Katrina will usually save us several minutes of ranting from the common property owner.  I always tell them it could have been much worse.

It is easy to remind these these folks about how much worse it could have been because I was there in Slidell, Marrero, Chalmette and dozens of other cities and towns for the months following Hurricane Katrina.  Witnessing the interiors of peoples homes and lives is an image that will be permanently etched in my mind forever.

Thats exactly why I think this oil spill poses a serious threat to all property owners along the Gulf Coast.

If youre not following my thoughts just yet, let me drop this one on you:

Wind Driven Oil

Just in case youre out of the loop, dozens of insurers had Civil and Regulatory Complaints filed against them for failing to recognize that some interior water damage was caused by rain;  well have to spare you the details of these cases for another post.

Wind driven oil might become a reality for insurers, property owners and every living thing on the Gulf Coast line.

Were not talking about requiring the heartless destruction that Mother Nature rained down on the Gulf in late summer of 2005, but rather only needing ~70 mph gusts to drive that oil right off the coast line and up into the air.  How far it travels likely depends on how fast the wind is moving and several other factors, but one thing is for sure; if cinder-block buildings couldnt stand the wind, neither will the oil.  Its true that were here attempting to calculate the potential risk to property late on a Wednesday night, but what about the rest of the Gulf?  Well just have to leave that up to the scientists and engineers, but if our calculations are correct it could be devastating to vegetation, nature and property.

While the news headlines, scientists, meteorologists and everyone else is talking about how hurricane season might carry the oil around the Gulf, it seems almost foolish to doubt that mother nature couldn't put an unpredictable amount of that oil on land.  Even if Hurricane season doesn't make a full on strike against the Gulf. I'm willing to bet insurers will have a hard time denying the window cleaning bill, at minimum. Leave a comment!

Leave a Reply