Hurricane Irma will bring mostly wind damages, says catastrophe modeling company Karen Clark & Co. Fred Katayama reports.
Monsterous Hurricane Irma slammed across the northern Caribbean en route to a possible Florida landfall this weekend. Reuters correspondent Scott Malone is covering the story from San Juan in Puerto Rico. Irma is expected to hit the island later today. (SOUNDBITE) SCOTT MALONE, CORRESPONDENT, REUTERS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Businesses and homeowners are busy putting up shutters, whether they be sheets of plywood or corrugated sheets of metal over their windows particularly down on beachfront properties and businesses near the beach. We've also seen big crowds at supermarkets. People stacking up on water, on ice, on food." The U.S. National Hurricane Center ranked Irma in the highest category 5, with winds of 185 miles per hour. Florida governor Rick Scott warned it could be bigger than Hurricane Andrew, which devastated Florida 25 years ago. Karen Clark of a catastrophe modeling company Karen Clark & Co. (SOUNDBITE) KAREN CLARK, FOUNDER, KAREN CLARK & CO. (ENGLISH) SAYING: "It's more likely that Irma is going to be a wind event. And, also, if it hits certain parts of the coastline, like around Charlestown, which it may, it's going to cause a lot of storm surge. So, we'll see a lot of flooding from the storm surge. So, it really depends, again, on where the storm makes landfall, in terms of how much damage there 's going to be, certainly, what the insured losses are going to be, and how much of that will be wind versus storm surge." Last month, category 4 Hurricane Harvey struck Texas. It dumped several feet of rain, destroyed thousands of homes and businesses, and displaced more than one million people. It caused damages estimated as high as $180 billion.