HARTFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Two million people and businesses may lose electrical power due to the effects of Hurricane Matthew, according to a Blackout Risk Model developed jointly by Verisk Insurance Solutions and The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company (HSB).
States at greatest risk of power blackouts are Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. Power outages are also possible in neighboring mid-Atlantic and southeastern states.
More than one million people in Florida could lose electrical power, with some parts of the state losing power for a week or more.
Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina could see outages of about 300,000 each.
As of 11 a.m. EDT on Oct. 6, Matthew was a Category 4 hurricane, with sustained wind speeds of 140 mph. Whether the hurricane makes landfall in east-central Florida, or follows a path along the coast without landfall, electrical service is likely to be interrupted by high winds and heavy rain.
Strong winds can bring trees and tree debris down onto power lines. Rain saturated ground increases the possibility of trees toppling in heavy wind.
The Blackout Risk Model was developed by Verisk Insurance Solutions and HSB to understand and assess blackout risk in order to help businesses and people minimize risk and manage potential losses.
The Blackout Risk Model technology integrates a database of possible weather conditions, satellite analysis of trees near electrical distribution lines, proprietary knowledge of the electrical grid infrastructure, and detailed economic and demographic data.
HSB and Verisk Insurance Solutions will continue to monitor the storm and supply updated blackout risk potentials as circumstances change.
Experts available for media interviews:
Tory Farney, Lead Meteorologist at Verisk Insurance Solutions, manages science and data analyses for Verisk Insurance Solutions products for insurers, manufacturers and distributors. Tory works on hurricane and severe weather impact forecasting, including prediction and validation analytics for these industries. He has a BS in Atmospheric Science from Cornell University and an MS in Geosciences from Mississippi State University.
Robin Luo, Vice President at HSB Group, is responsible for the Blackout Risk Model project. He has held various positions with responsibilities in the areas of risk modeling, catastrophe risk management, corporate underwriting and ceded reinsurance management, and enterprise risk management. He established Munich Re's enterprise risk management frameworks at HSB.
Prior to joining HSB, Robin served as an electrical engineer on-board of ocean-going vessels and worked as engineering manager for WIKA GmbH, a Germany based automation and instrumentation engineering company. Robin has a BS degree in Electrical Engineering and a MS degree in Statistics and Finance. He also holds CPCU and ARe designations.