Colorado Flood Cost to Top $2 Billion, Eqecat Says

Flooding and mudslides in Colorado this month caused more than $2 billion in economic losses, most of it uninsured, according to catastrophe risk modeler Eqecat.

The estimate includes damage to homes and roads, lodging expenses for displaced people and the cost of restoring services, Eqecat said in a statement yesterday. About 1,500 homes were destroyed, and replacing them will cost $300 million, or $200,000 each, Eqecat said. Losses were estimated at $350 million in houses that were flooded without being destroyed.

Record rainfall affected counties from Denver to the Wyoming border, damaging 17,500 homes, according to the modeler. Most of the property is outside zones covered by the National Flood Insurance Program, Eqecat said. Basic homeowners insurance excludes such losses.

“Restoring the destruction from this series of events will take time, further affecting businesses and residents,” Eqecat said in the statement. “Hundreds of miles of roads have been flooded. Many bridges and at least four dams have been damaged or destroyed.”

The cost in Colorado compares with as much as $50 billion last year from Superstorm Sandy, which struck states including New York and New Jersey. Rainfall in Boulder, Colorado, exceeded 17 inches (43 centimeters) this month, according to the National Weather Service. That compares will less than 3 inches for September in each of the past five years, Jim Kalina, a meteorologist for the service in Boulder, said in a phone interview.

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