Severe storms which lashed the US in late May have cost the industry between $4bn and $7bn, according to catastrophe modelling firm AIR

Insured losses include damage to residential, commercial and industrial building, as well as thousands of vehicles and the losses could exceed the “very active” 2008 season.

AIR’s principal scientist Dr. Tim Doggett said the outbreak of tornadoes, when coupled with the April outbreak, has produced almost twice as many preliminary tornado reports than average since 2005.

“It is also becoming quickly apparent that 2011 will surpass 2008 in terms of insured losses from severe thunderstorm activity. Indeed, the two major outbreaks of this year—the first in late April, the second in late May—are the costliest on record,” says Doggett.

Damage by state

  • Minnesota: Moderate amounts of significant damage, including damage to more than 100 houses and several commercial properties were damaged, and many trees and power lines were knocked down.
  • Kansas: Damaging winds and hail reported as well as 14 tornado touchdowns on 21 May. Town of Reading hardest hit with 26 homes and ten commercial buildings damaged.
  • Texas: Severe thunderstorms, funnel clouds and tennis ball-sized hail hit Dallas and Fort Worth on 24 May. Vehicles and roofs damaged.
  • Indiana: Significant damage to homes and commercial buildings in Bloomington
  • Missouri: City of Joplin was the hardest hit. In just nine minutes, more than 8,000 homes and apartment units, and more than 500 commercial properties were heavily damaged or destroyed.