Hurricane Florence damage toll could reach $22 billion

Hurricane Florence, which touched down Sept. 14 in North and South Carolina, caused damage that Moody's Analytics estimates will cost $17 billion to $22 billion, according to CNBC.

Florence was a Category 1 hurricane that  was quickly downgraded to a tropical storm, but its 24-inch rainfall surpassed the record set by Hurricane Floyd in 1999. Moody's estimates Florence is one of the 10 costliest hurricanes to ever hit the U.S.

"We were close to $10 [billion] to $15 billion on Friday. The flooding is more extensive than we had anticipated, and the storm was slow-moving. It hung over the Carolinas a lot more than was expected," said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics.

The storm is expected to cause a loss of up to $2 billion in economic output, though the share of national GDP in the areas affected by Florence is half of that affected by Hurricane Harvey and one sixth of Hurricane Irma, both of which came in 2017.

"These estimates are based on the information available, and there is a high probability that Florence's costs will be revised significantly higher with added information or inland flooding," according to Moody's Analytics.

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