Devastation Just 389 Miles From Miami

The United States has not, thankfully, had a Hurricane land on our shores since Wilma and Katrina did so much damage in 2005. The events over the last few days should, however, cause all of us to pause and be a reminder of the force and fury that Mother Nature can deliver by so quickly changing our lives, especially in a coastal peninsula and its various islands that are all surrounded by water like we have here in Florida.

Over the weekend South Carolina suffered from upwards of two feet of rain that caused flash floods, killing at least nine people and submerging countless homes and cars along that state’s coast in places like Columbia and Charleston. Roads have been swallowed by sink holes and it’s being called the worst flooding in the state’s history.

And the cause of all of that rain?

Hurricane Joaquin, a monster storm that landed in the Bahamas as nearly a Category Five storm (just two miles per hour shy of that designation) that has caused truly extensive devastation. In the words of one observer, some islands are ‘completely obliterated’. The central Bahamas report a total power blackout. It’s also being reported that 85% of the homes in the community of Crooked Island were destroyed by the storm with one person saying ‘it’s only sticks and stones’. Long Island has suffered what the Bahamian government is calling ‘major devastation’. To make matters worse, as I write this blog the U. S. Coast Guard has announced that Joaquin sank the 790 foot long cargo ship El Faro as it was on its way to Puerto Rico and, thus far, not a single survivor has been located amongst the 33 crew that had been on board.

Although 10 years have passed since a Hurricane last ‘hit’ Florida, and 23 since Category Five Hurricane Andrew devastated South Miami Dade County, the pictures that are starting to arrive from the Bahamas sure look a lot like what I saw in the aftermath of that storm (Andrew).

Photos: Terran Knowles /

As the peak of Hurricane season settles in around these parts it’s wise to consider that the now ‘obliterated’ Crooked Island is just 389 nautical miles from Miami. We were lucky this time. Coastal South Florida and all of us in this region need to be careful to not be lulled into thinking that the wind will never blow onto our shores again. Just because it’s been ten, or 23 years, since a Hurricane ‘visited’ South Florida, a storm of this size being less than 400 miles from Miami is an important lesson to (please) keep in mind.

As Joaquin departs it’s latest ‘stop’, Bermuda, and heads off into the Atlantic Ocean it’s also likely wise to consider your own storm preparation plan, as well as how your insurance protection is arranged.

Are the limits that you carry sufficient to rebuild if you were to suffer damage?

Do you know how your windstorm deductible works and how much it would cost in the event of a claim?

Do you carry flood insurance and, if not, are you aware that property policies (homeowner’s, condo’s, renters, commercial type policies) exclude flood losses, but that separate coverage is available for rising water claims?

These and other suggestions can be found in our Hurricane Season 2015 newsletter which you can review by clicking here or finding it to the right of this blog. And, as always, in any kind of weather, you can and should rely on our fine Professional Agents and Underwriters here at Morris & Reynolds to answer your questions and to help you.

For allowing us the honor of providing your protection, thank you kindly.

Trusted Insurance

"Savings & Service Has Been Our Policy Since 1950"
14821 South Dixie Highway, Miami, Florida 33176
P 305.238.1000 | F 305.255.9643

Independent agent