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Because damaging winds are rarer far inland, the hurricane risk to the interior of the U.S. can be easy to overlook.

But storms can travel hundreds of miles after landfall and, on rare occasions, hurricane remnants sometimes reintensify after transitioning into extratropical cyclones or combining with pre-existing mid-latitude systems. Moreover, exposed inland properties tend to be more vulnerable compared to coastal construction.

For these reasons, a robust hurricane model needs to extend far beyond coastal counties—and even coastal states—to reflect the full spatial extent of potential losses.

A Century of Evidence

The potential for hurricanes to penetrate far inland has been understood for over a century. In the year 1900, a Category-4 hurricane made landfall in Galveston, Texas, before traveling deep into the U.S. interior. The storm moved into the Upper Midwest, bringing damaging winds to more than half a dozen states, including Illinois, Indiana and even Vermont. Were this event to recur with present-day exposures, AIR Worldwide estimates insured losses to onshore properties of $38.5 billion, including $1.3 billion to inland states.

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