Insured losses in the United States from Hurricane Irene could total up to $6.6 billion, according to a report published by Impact Forecasting, which analyzes financial implications of catastrophes.
The storm killed at least 46 people, injured dozens more and damaged tens of thousands of homes, businesses, other structures and vehicles, the report said.
But it could have been far worse.
"Hurricane Irene was initially expected to make landfall as a more significant storm, highlighted by the extensive measures taken by many states to evacuate residents and ensure that structures were secured," Impact Forecasting President Steve Jakubowski said in a prepared statement. "In the end, Irene weakened prior to coming ashore and the resultant damage is perhaps many times less than would have been the case had Irene remained a major hurricane at landfall, as was initially expected."
Irene, the first hurricane to hit U.S. land since Ike in 2008, wasn't the only major U.S. catastrophe in August. Just days before the hurricane, a rare magnitude-5.9 earthquake rattled the mid-Atlantic region. Losses covered by insurance from the quake were estimated at about $100 million.
Meanwhile, wildfires destroyed dozens of homes in Texas and Oklahoma in August.