When hurricanes strike they leave behind mass destruction in their wake. Whenever it happens in the US, the suffering state usually takes anywhere between months to years in recouping the financial losses. The costs are felt long after the flood waters have receded, the broken power poles have been repaired, uprooted trees removed, roads cleared, sanitation returned, and industry gets back to normal again. A curious fact is that the deadliest hurricanes that caused maximum damage to life are not usually amongst the most expensive ones. Factors such as day of the week, place of landfall, time of the year, whether the hurricane made landfall during high tide.
·At number one is Katrina which hit New Orleans in 2005. It caused damage upwards of $200 billion, which is more than the GDP of probably half the countries on earth. The amount is two-thirds of the stimulus package of $287 billion that Obama has announced; the figure is THAT huge. Katrina is one of the three category five storms to have ever hit the US and New Orleans bore the brunt of its fury.
·Before Katrina, it was Hurricane Andrew that held the record for the most expensive hurricane in the US. It lashed Florida and Louisiana in 1992 and caused damage worth $44 billion; a staggering amount for the three – four days that Andrew remained in strength over the US. Yet, peanuts compared to the damage caused by Katrina. Interestingly, Hurricane Andrew started life as a tropical wave off the west coast ofAfrica.
·Hurricane Charley that hit Florida in 2004 developed as a tropical depression off the coast of Barbados and hit Florida as a category 4 hurricane with winds touching 150 mph. Charley was a small hurricane but very ferocious; it led to 16 tornadoes in Florida, North Carolina and Virginia and cost America $15 billion.
·Hurricane Ivan touched land at GulfShores. Alabama in 2004. It was a category 5 hurricane in the Caribbean and created wind speeds in excess of 120 mph when it touched the GulfShores off Alabama. It spawned more than a 100 tornadoes as it moved inland and caused damage worth $14.2 billion before it finally subsided.
·Hurricane Hugo, another one with a male name targeted Charleston, South Carolina in 1989 and caused storm tides as high as 20 ft in the CapeRomain-BullsBay area. It left the US poorer by $7 billion.
·Hurricane Agnes was category I hurricane even at its most violent. It hit South and North Eastern United States in 1972. Inspite of being a relatively mild hurricane, Agnes caused damage worth $2.1 billion. The damage was caused by flooding and heavy rains.
·Hurricane Betsy visited Southeast Florida and Southeast Louisiana in 1965. Betsy fell just short of being categorized at number 5. Betsy earned the nickname “Billion Dollar Betsy” because it was the first hurricane ever to cause damage touching $1 billion. Adjusting for inflation that amount today is around $11 billion.
·Hurricane Frances hit Florida in 2004; it was only a category 2 hurricane and yet cost the country $8.9 billion in damages. Frances launched over a 100 tornadoes throughout the southeastern and mid-Atlantic states.
·Hurricane Camille hit Mississippi, SE Louisiana, and Virginia in 1969 and notched up the record for being the second most intense hurricane ever to hit the United States. Storms and flash floods caused damage worth $8.8 billion.
·Hurricane Diane ravaged the north coast from Virginia to New York in 1955 and its massive flooding resulted in damages of $6.9 billion.
Mark M. - May - 2020 - Surfside Beach, South Carolina Hi Elizabeth, I just wanted to let you know my order arrived today. Everything looks great! I will not hesitate to recommend Empire, I am very satisfied with the whole ordering process. Thank you for the excellent service and product.
Mike A. - April - 2020 - Daytona Beach, Florida Michael, Bill and staff, Thank you for all your help with re-setting the Rolling Shutter I purchased from you. It is back up and runnning with the limits set. You’ve been very helpful as usual!!
Lew G. - March - 2020 - Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida Thanks again for your advice, technical support, and for all your help and Michael's help. You gave the best customer service and helped me find the best product for my needs. You guys have been awesome and thank you for putting up with me!!
Douglas C. - January - 2020 - The Villages, Florida First let me express how pleased I am with my new rolling shutters and how the whole process was handled. I received the shipment nicely packed with no damage to the contents. The assembly and mounting went very well and the end product fit perfectly, works very well and looks great!
Doc and Christy B. October - 2019 - Waynesville, Georgia
Hello again, it’s Christy B from Waynesville, Georgia. My husband and I have installed 6 out of the 9 roll shutters and we cannot say enough about them! The quality and workmanship is excellent, the shipping packaging was quite satisfactory and the fit is perfect. The shutters roll nicely and the installation video on your website is what we went by. After the first one’s learning curve, the rest have been no problem at all! We hope that you get some additional orders from up here as several of our friends and neighbors plus a local general contractor are anxious to check the shutters out. Our daughter in St. Augustine is jealous.....their subdivision builder used window storm panels and she hates manhandling them and storing them. Thank you Liz, Barbara, Mike, Bill and the rest of the staff. We are very, very pleased that we chose your product to protect our home.
Matthew B. - September - 2019 - Long Island, Bahamas Your Rolling Shutters are an Amazing Product! Thank you so very much. Wonderful service from beginning to end. Much appreciated.
Gary L. July - 2019 - Island Park, Idaho
You have a great product. The way you shipped it in a big box was so nice.
I was so impressed. Attached is a picture of the installed shutters. It was a pleasure to install these Rolling shutters. You guys make it so easy. Thanks again!!
Rodney D. - June - 2019 - Sable, Texas I received the Bahama Shutters. Thank you for the quick shipment and for including one put together already so I know how they go up.Your company service is wonderful and I already have neighbors asking where I got them.
Larry A. - March - 2019 - San Diego, California I am writing this email to say Thank You to everyone at Empire. I have just finished installing the rolling and accoridon shutters you shipped to me on order 26692.The quality of your product is excellent, and your delivery was shorter than expected. The care that was taken by the people that packaged my shutters is above and beyond, and greatly appreciated. The patience Michael Joiner and his sales team showed me over the weeks I was debating what kind of shutters to by, and from whom, was also greatly appreciated. I would be happy to be a reference here on the West Coast if you should ever want one. -Larry
Mark P. - February - 2019 - St. Croix. U.S. Virgin Islands Thanks Empire Construction! Job well done with no issues. I really appreciate purchasing your products. I'm also looking forward to doing more business with you guys in the future. You guys are the best!!
Judy S. – January – 2019 - Cocoa Beach, Florida
Thanks so much for all your help!! My husband is thrilled with the Rolling Shutters and they look great.
Guven Y. – January – 2019 – Malabar, Florida
Thank you very much for everything. All of the Bahama Shutters have been hung and they all look great! They are very quality work and I am getting a lot of inquiries about them.Thanks again.
Gerald B – December – 2018 - Mattapoisett, Massachusetts
The Rolling Shutters are up and running and fit perfectly. They appear to be a very high quality product.
Jan T – November – 2018 – Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida Barbara,I just wanted to tell you the storm panels went up very nicely and you sent me all the proper panels. I'll be ordering the panels for the rest of the house after the holidays. Thank you again for your assistance and it was a pleasure working with you.
Mike G. - October - 2018 - Port Charlotte, Florida
Excellent Product! Thank you Ryan. Please pass my thanks along to Bill and the rest of the team as well. I am really impressed with the system we received. Thank you all for continuing that quality product with good support.
Robert H. - September - 2018 - Beaufort, South Carolina
My Accordion Shutters are up! The windows took about 1.5 hours each. The shutters all fit very nicely, the material and finish is excellent, and they look very good. They are not intrusive at all. I am pleased, my wife is pleased ( you know that is important) and my neighbor, who helped me was impressed based upon his window/door experience. Good job! Thanks.
Marcus J. - August - 2018 - St. John, U.S Virgin Islands Hello everyone at Empire, Marcus from St. John here. This project is being done by me and 1 helper, and we're going back much stronger, with many more tap cons, and wedge anchors than the original installers had done. Your rolling shutters are amazing, great quality and workmanship. Everything is going great so far!
David G. - July - 2018 - Sarasota, Florida
We wanted to self-install so we bought accordions and roll downs from Empire Construction.We measured our window and patio and sent Empire the specs.The shutters were an exact match.Installation is very doable for two reasonably mechanical people. In this case it was only one mechanical person and some extra hands. The accordions were a breeze as installation was mostly marking holes for spots, drilling holes, and screwing them in.Our accordions have locking pins that hold them open and act as a second lock when closed. Even if a projectile breaks the lock the rods will keep the shutters closed.These shutters are Bertha HV1. They are High Velocity Hurricane Zone Approved. Having seen a wide range of shutters we are extremely happy with the quality of the product we received!!
Jim J. - June - 2018 - Homestead , Florida
I installed fourteen aluminum accordion shutters which I purchased from Empire Construction.I could not be happier with my choice.The shutters are made very well and are powder-coated.The purchase included all of the required hardware which was powder-coated to match the shutters.The company is very customer-oriented.Michael and his staff were wonderful.They were attentive, helpful, and a delight to work with.The installation video on the website made the installation very easy.I highly recommend Empire Construction to anyone considering a purchase of hurricane shutters. Thanks again. Please say Hi to everyone,
Steffan L. - May - 2018 - St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, Florida
I picked up my shipment today at Paradise freight here on St Croix. Your shipping (and your products) deserves the highest rating. Thanks for excellent service..