Hurricane season 2015: Quiet season predicted, but that’s not a free pass for …

1 Jun 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

2015 Hurricane Season Officially Starts June 1 and Runs Through November 30.

Here you’ll find the critically important information you need to know to be prepared for the next storm and why the forecast for fewer storms might not be a good thing for South Florida.While Florida’s property insurance market has stabilized somewhat since eight storms battered the state in 2004 and 2005, as storms such as Hurricane Wilma caused billions in damages, the state still has some of the nation’s highest homeowners insurance rates.

— The death toll continues to rise as carbon monoxide poisoning claims more people in the wake of one of the most powerful natural acts in Southwest Florida history. A recent national report showed that Florida’s average homeowner premium of more than $2,000 a year is twice the national average. “There are people on fixed incomes that no longer can afford homeowners insurance,” Palm Beach County resident Daniel McMahon wrote to Gov. While there have been vital enhancements in forecasting the landfalls and paths of developing storms, experts have cautioned that efforts are still lagging behind in accurately predicting the intensity of hurricanes.

Forecast tracking has improved, and even the use of social media — the state directs people to its “Get a Plan!” website — has given the state another means to communicate with the public pre- and post-storm. More efforts are needed especially during rapid intensification, which is a process when a storm strengthens in just a few hours by more than one category.

The state-created Citizens Property Insurance Corp., Florida’s largest property insurer, is in the best financial condition in its history, CEO Barry Gilway says. In the most-recent scenario, officials portrayed the Panhandle getting hit by a hurricane and a week later a second storm crossing South Florida, following the path of the killer 1928 hurricane that crossed Lake Okeechobee. “Those emergency managers, I think they are (ready),” Koon said. “And businesses and non-governmental charitable organizations, I’m confident in all of them.

The state-created Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund — nicknamed the “Cat Fund” — is also strong heading into the Atlantic storm season that starts June 1. Now it’s a matter of making sure that people understand Florida is a great place to live, but they have to take the appropriate precautions so they can take care of themselves so we can take care of those less fortunate.” In Lake County, hurricane hazards can include heavy rainfall, high winds, inland flooding and tornadoes, according to the county press release. Other than that, hurricane Audrey in 1957 which took approximately 416 lives, and Galveston, Texas in the year 1900 which claimed over 8,000 victims, are considered as the ones that caused huge damage to civilian lives and property. A “FEMA City” of trailers emerged in Punta Gorda and aerial views of areas such as Cape Coral showed a sea of blue tarps covering rooftops damaged by powerful winds.

Consumers are benefiting from this because the state’s “hurricane tax” — surcharges related to those previous storms — is disappearing from their insurance bills. These devastating natural disasters can cause up to tens of billions of dollars worth of damages, affecting not only the U.S. and the Gulf Coast, but countries throughout the Atlantic region.

To help protect coastal residential along the eastern seaboard and Gulf coasts, NOAA officials will – for the first time – be producing storm surge watch and warning graphics during the 2015 hurricane season. From Hurricane Katrina to the remnants of Hurricane Mitch, several storms have flirted with the Southwest Florida coast in recent decades; but three stand out among the rest: Charley, Donna and Wilma.

The charge is added to all insurance bills, including auto insurance, if Citizens or the catastrophe fund lack sufficient money to pay off storm claims. This year’s hurricane forecast from NOAA is calling for a below-normal season in the Atlantic with the potential for 3 to 6 hurricanes and an above-normal season in the Eastern Pacific with the potential for 7 to 12 hurricanes. Instead, the storm bucked to the east a bit and strengthened before slamming ashore at Cayo Costa State Park in northern Lee County. “We actually lost the roof,” Taylor said. “We had a lot of civilians that showed up at the last minute seeking shelter. Reinsurance is the millions an insurer spends with an out-of-state or foreign company to provide the company financial backing in case of major claims. “I fully expect insurers to submit lower rate requests and pass along savings to consumers as market conditions strengthen and reinsurance rates go down,” McCarty said in a statement. CBS4 Meteorologist John Gerard talked to the National Hurricane Center’s Senior Hurricane Specialist Michael Brennan about the changes that have taken place.

But that probably won’t be the case for Citizens, which was designed to be the insurer of last resort for property owners who couldn’t get private policies. Scientists at the Hurricane Research Division (HRD) have partnered with scientists in India, Japan, and Taiwan to develop a global model of NOAA’s forecasting computer, called the Hurricane Weather Research and Forecast System (HWRF). They are working on compiling a global database by operating HWRF on storms in the Indian and Pacific oceans, whereby, they are hopeful to fix the problem with intensity forecasting.

While experts are anticipating the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season to be below average, for the Central Pacific and Eastern Pacific basins, it will be a different scenario. Third, prepare a home emergency preparedness kit—this kit should include things like non-perishable food, water, toiletries, first aid supplies, a hand-crank radio, and a flashlight. It’s probable that after a hurricane hits South Florida, the internet will be down, cell towers won’t work and you may not even be able to make a call on a land line. And these policy holders will continue to see increases in the future including the next round in January. “If you buy a coastal home, you should expect to pay an appropriate rate for exposure to that home,” Gilway said. “The hurricane risk, the wind risk and the flood risk clearly is significantly higher along the coast.” The reasons for Florida’s high rates have triggered endless argument among state lawmakers and others in the last two decades. They are asking individuals, and families to learn the evacuation routes in their areas, gather emergency supplies, and establish a communications plan.

You’d be surprised how many people in South Florida simply don’t know the answer to that question so whether you’re a long time resident or hurricane season-first timer, you have to plan. CBS4 Chief Meteorologist Craig Setzer visited the home of CBS4 News Anchor Rick Folbaum and his family who have never gone through a South Florida hurricane. CBS4 Meteorologist Michael Smith looks into how cell phone technology has advanced in the past ten years, since Hurricane Wilma, in order to make sure you stay connected and CBS4’s David Sutta takes a look at the vulnerability of the internet and what’s being done to keep you online.

South Florida has been lucky in recent years to come away from most of the Atlantic hurricane seasons with little to no impact and that means complacency can be an issue. From your home to your pets to your precious heirlooms, it’s better to get things ready now than wait until it’s too late and a storm is taking aim at the area.

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UPDATE 1-Western Refining to buy rest of Northern Tier

20 Jan 2016 | Author: | No comments yet »

JPMorgan Chase & Co. Upgrades Northern Tier Energy LP (NTI) to “Neutral”.

Under the deal, Northern Tier unit holders would receive $15 a unit in cash and 0.2986 Western Refining share for each common unit held, or roughly $26.21 a unit based on Monday’s close. EL PASO, Texas and TEMPE, Ariz., Dec. 21, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Western Refining, Inc. (NYSE:WNR) and Northern Tier Energy LP (NYSE:NTI) today jointly announced that they have entered into a merger agreement whereby Western will acquire all of NTI’s outstanding common units not already owned by Western. Northern Tier Chief Executive Dave Lamp in prepared remarks Monday said that the MLP model “has not been rewarded by the equity market, as evidenced by the historical disconnect between NTI’s high yield and low unit price.” “With a simplified corporate structure and diverse geographic base, the new Western will be well positioned to unlock additional value for shareholders,” Mr. As an alternative to the cash and stock consideration, each NTI unitholder may elect to receive, per NTI unit, either $26.06 in cash or 0.7036 of a share of WNR.

Assuming completion of the proposed transaction, NTI will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of WNR and NTI common units will cease to be publicly traded. Jeff Stevens, President and CEO of WNR said, “The merger of Western and NTI will result in the combined entity owning three of the most profitable independent refineries on a gross margin per barrel basis, with direct pipeline access to advantaged crude oil combined with an integrated retail and wholesale distribution network. The terms of the merger agreement were approved by the WNR Board of Directors and the Conflicts Committee of the Board of Directors of NTI’s general partner, which negotiated the terms on behalf of NTI. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, five have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock.

The call and slide presentation can be accessed on the Investor Relations section of Western’s website, www.wnr.com, and on the Investor Relations section of Northern Tier’s website at www.northerntier.com. The Company has refining, retail and logistics operations that serve the Petroleum Administration for Defense District II (PADD II) region of the United States. Goldman Sachs & Co. acted as financial advisor to Western, and Vinson & Elkins, Davis Polk & Wardwell and Richards Layton & Finger acted as legal counsel to Western. This press release includes “forward-looking statements” by Western (which are protected as forward-looking statements under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995) and by NTI.

The Company’s retail segment operated 165 convenience stores under the SuperAmerica brand and also supported 89 franchised convenience stores, which are also operated under the SuperAmerica brand. These statements are subject to the risk that the merger is not consummated at all, including due to the inability of Western or NTI to obtain all approvals necessary or the failure of other closing conditions, as well as to the general risks inherent in Western’s and NTI’s businesses and the merged company’s ability to compete in a highly competitive industry.

If you are reading this article on another website, that means this article was illegally copied and re-published to this website in violation of U.S. and International copyright law. In addition, Western’s and Northern Tier’s business and operations involve numerous risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond Western’s and NTI’s control, which could materially affect their respective financial condition, results of operations and cash flows and those of the merged company.

The forward-looking statements are only as of the date made, and neither Western nor NTI undertake any obligation to (and each expressly disclaims any obligation to) update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date such statements were made, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. This communication does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities or a solicitation of any vote or approval in any jurisdiction where such an offer or solicitation is unlawful. Any such offer will be made only by means of a prospectus meeting the requirements of Section 10 of the Securities Act of 1933, pursuant to a registration statement filed with the SEC. The retail segment includes retail service stations, convenience stores, and unmanned fleet fueling locations in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas. Beyersdorfer (602) 286-1530 Michelle Clemente (602) 286-1533 Northern Tier Investor and Analyst Contact: Paul Anderson (651) 458-6494 Alpha IR Group (651) 769-6700 nti@alpha-ir.com Media Contact: Gary Hanson (602) 286-1777

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