Above-average hurricane season expected

Monday, June 6, 2011 - 10:52am

Hurricane season officially began Thursday, June 1.  Governor Bobby Jindal warned people in Louisiana, "We need to be prepared," since we are already flooded from the Mississippi River.

Forecasters predict anywhere from 12-18 named storms to hit the U.S. this year, and even one storm could mean trouble for the Ark-La-Tex.

Hurricanes mainly impact the Ark-La-Tex through high winds, tornadoes and flooding, said Marty Mayeaux of the National Weather Service in Shreveport.  He said one of our biggest risks is slow-moving storms producing heavy rainfall can result in major flooding.

The busiest part of the season is between August and October, so now is a good time to check over your insurance coverage.

Melissa Harris, a local insurance agent, told us her main concern is making sure people have insurance in place.  "If you don't have the insurance in place, then you have damage to your home and you're having to pay it out of pocket."

Harris said insurance plans that include hail and wind damage are encouraged in our area, and flood insurance through FEMA is a good idea to protect your house and belongings.

Harris says understanding your coverage and asking your agent questions can help avoid surprise damage costs.

Even though we've avoided major hurricanes the past three years, the future is still uncertain.  "Statistically, each year that goes by without a storm, there's a better chance for next year, but we can't tell yet," said Mayeaux.

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