As the hurricane season continues its slow march, new storms are appearing in the Atlantic Ocean, spurring concerns that this season may make good on the promise of unusually high activity. The National Hurricane Center has been tracking Hurricane Katia for a number of weeks as it has hovered just off the East Coast, fluctuating between hurricane status and that of a tropical storm. Two new storms have sprouted in the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, and both have storm watchers worried.
At present, Katia is designated as a Category 1 Hurricane with winds in excess of 80mph. The two newcomers to the Atlantic are Nate and Maria, both Tropical Storms that are quickly gaining in ferocity and may reach hurricane status by the beginning of next week. Forecasters insist that none of the storms have yet present any threat to the U.S. but note that this could change quickly. Hurricane Katia, however, may bring yet more flooding to the East Coast.
The storms have insurance companies in a state of worry as they continue to mitigate the effects of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. Both these storms have caused widespread flooding and a fair number of deaths. While Katia is expected to be less powerful than Irene by the time it makes landfall – if it ever makes it that far – insurers will still have more losses on their hands due to damages to homes caused by floods.