Tornado season has begun and it is already causing quite a stir, as many are anticipating this year to be one of the most active and damaging years yet. While tornados can occur at nearly any time of year, the spring and summer months are typically the ripest for tornado activity. As this year’s tornado season begins, commercial property owners should ensure they are fully aware of what to look out for.

Tornado Season Could Cause Increased Damage This Year

The spring and summer months are typically looked forward to by many after a long winter season. While this time of year does bring sunshine and warmer weather, it’s also the time of year when tornados are most active. The severe thunderstorms that crop up during the warmer months often spawn tornados due to the buildup of heat and humidity. While tornado season is always quite dangerous, this year is anticipated to be much more active and cause more damage than normal due in large part to the weather phenomenon, La Niña. La Niña concentrates hot, humid air over the southern U.S, which sets up a strong north-south temperature gradient that favors storm formation.

La Niña is a particular climate pattern that is one of the main drivers of weather around the world, especially in the late fall, winter, and early spring. La Niña is marked by cooler-than-average ocean water in the central Pacific Ocean. According to meteorologists at AccuWeather, because of La Niña, severe weather including tornado activity could occur more often this year. In fact, this year’s tornado season is anticipated to rival 2011’s, one of the most severe seasons in which tornados killed over 500 U.S. residents.

This year, tornado activity is expected to reach between 1,340 and 1,500 tornados. In an average year, these numbers range between 1,250 and 1,400. This year has already seen two deadly tornadoes in Alabama and North Carolina, with the Alabama storm killing one person and injuring at least 30 and North Carolina tornado resulting in the deaths of three people.

Common Types of Commercial Property Losses Caused By Tornado Damage

While tornadoes can spawn out of a severe storm at random, commercial property owners can still prepare in advance by being fully aware of the potential damages that can happen when a tornado strikes. Areas struck by a tornado can look vastly different than they did beforehand due to powerful winds. Leveled buildings, overturned cars, smoke, and debris can all result from a tornado.

Common types of tornado damage include:

  • Damage to Roof and Siding: Missing or broken roof shingles, dents, and chips can occur following a tornado. Pieces of roof decking can also be torn away and roofs can be completely blown off or displaced.
  • Wall and Floor Damage: The interior walls of commercial structures can crack, bow, and/or separate from roof surfaces. Flooring damage can lead to cupping or a floor becoming completely detached.
  • Frame Damage: Tornadoes can cause bent, twisted, and/or broken framing in commercial structures. Broken welds on beams and trusses are common issues caused by this type of damage.
  • Foundation Damage: Building foundations can be separated or cracked by tornado uplift.
  • Flying Debris and Gutter Damage: Flying debris from the tornado can smash windows and damage panes, shutters, commercial vehicles, and other business property, while gutters can be dented or completely torn away.
  • Exterior Damage: Exterior damage to doors, fencing, landscaping, and roof vents, among other items, can occur due to the impact of a tornado.
  • Electrical and Plumbing Damage: Tornadoes often damage the electrical and plumbing systems serving a commercial property.

Commercial Property Damage Attorneys

Tornado damage can be devastating and leave a once strong standing commercial structure in disarray. In order to recoup the cost of damage, many will turn to their insurers for assistance. Unfortunately, insurance companies often protect their own interests than the interests of their policyholders. At Raizner Law, we understand just how upsetting this can be. If you or someone you know has suffered commercial property damage as the result of a tornado and your claim was denied, delayed, or underpaid, we can help. Contact us today for more information.

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