As the new movie “Twisters” is being filmed in downtown Oklahoma City, and some scenes in our building right outside the Merlin entrance, tornados are an appropriate blog topic in the middle of Oklahoma’s typical tornado season. True to form, on April 19, 2023, a series of deadly tornadoes swept through Oklahoma, causing significant damage and loss of life. However, one particular aspect of these storms that gained attention from meteorologists and weather enthusiasts was the potential involvement of the Fujiwhara effect.

Continue Reading The Fujiwhara Effect: A Rare & Intriguing Meteorological Phenomenon

On the night of February 26th, at least seven tornadoes tore through the Oklahoma City area, setting the record for most active tornadoes in February in Oklahoma history.1 The tornados and accompanying high wind speeds and hail caused widespread destruction and at least twelve injuries – thankfully, none of which are reported to be fatal.2 At the storm’s peak, OG&E reported 33,000 people were without power.3 The bulk of tornado damage occurred in Norman, Oklahoma – where I live – but the storm system caused damage throughout the south-central US, with 114 mile per hour winds reported in Texas.4 Photos of destroyed buildings, downed trees and powerlines, and flipped cars covered front pages Monday morning, highlighting just how extensive the damage is.

Continue Reading Late February Tornados Rip Through Oklahoma

Trying to explain to people why they have to consider getting professional help and self-educate themselves about insurance coverage and benefits after a disaster is one of the reasons I wrote Pay Up! I was thinking about this last night while being told of a Nashville policyholder with a significant property loss involving multiple properties and business interruption following the recent tornado catastrophe. I was told that they wanted to wait for the insurance adjuster to visit with them and explain their benefits before doing anything—including emergency mitigation.
Continue Reading Pay Up! Tips to Help Tennessee Tornado Victims Prevent a Second Disaster

Merlin Law Group attorney Etienne Font lives in Tennessee and Jeff Carter still works and has significant family relationships in Nashville. We were talking about tornado destruction, which has such little warning and is one of the most terrifying weather events for those in the path. Now, the cleanup and insurance recovery begins.
Continue Reading Tennessee Tornado Terror and The Insurance Claim Aftermath

With the devastating strength and power these hurricanes were bringing, the last thing on anyone’s mind was these hurricanes throwing additional blows to areas that seemed outside of their “cone.” However, those of us that went through Hurricanes Harvey and Irma (and even those watching from areas outside those directly affected) recall all the news stations announcing tornado watches and warnings for over 24-hours with each storm. I recall the meteorologists’ predictions of which storm cells in the bands of these hurricanes had rotation and were producing tornados.
Continue Reading Hurricanes Harvey and Irma Produced Tornados and Tornadic Activity Across Texas and Florida

Hurricane Jeanne hit South Florida on September 25 and 26, 2004. A recent Florida case before the Fourth District Court of Appeal involved two insureds who suffered damages to their condominiums during Hurricane Jeanne.1 The insureds held condominium policies with State Farm that contained a Hurricane Coverage Endorsement limiting coverage for damage to the dwelling caused by a hurricane:

There is no coverage for loss caused by a hurricane under Section I of the policy to which this endorsement is attached. No coverage is provided for accidental direct physical loss to the property described in the policy caused by a hurricane other than that which is provided in this endorsement. The provisions of this endorsement apply only in respect to loss caused by hurricane.

Continue Reading Storm-Induced Tornado Damage

I recently blogged about predictions for a lighter storm season this year in the southern United States. It is a good thing I closed by saying “don’t get too excited about this prediction.” On the heels of that blog tornadoes hit the Moore, Oklahoma area again on the evening of March 25, 2015. Governor Mary Fallin declared a state of emergency in 25 counties affected by tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and straight-line winds.1

Continue Reading State of Emergency Declared As Tornadoes Hit Moore, Oklahoma Area Again: Oklahoma Coverage Series

As Steve Jakubowski, President of Impact Forecasting, recently noted, "Historically, May is the beginning of peak tornado season in the United States."1 Since that means tornado season remains in full swing at this point, this installment of my Oklahoma Coverage Series will address whether Oklahoma policyholders have enough coverage.

Continue Reading During Peak Tornado Season, Do Oklahoma Policyholders Have Enough Coverage? – Oklahoma Coverage Series