Gulf Coast Businesses Brace For Severe Hurricane Season

Houston-based ImpactWeather is forecasting this year's Atlantic hurricane season will be more severe than last year's. A storm in the Gulf of Mexico would affect Houston-area businesses, even if it misses the region altogether.

ImpactWeather predicts the 2013 hurricane season will spawn up to twenty named storms, up to nine of which should reach hurricane strength. That’s roughly in line with 2012. But the company forecasts up to four of this year’s hurricanes will reach Category 3 strength or above. Last year, only Hurricane Sandy hit that intensity.

A storm in the Gulf could have a severe effect on offshore oil and gas operations. Christine Wolf is a spokeswoman for ImpactWeather.

“If you have a rig offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, and you’re faced with the potential of shutting down or even evacuating your staff, maybe stopping production, we’re talking about millions of dollars a day that are lost.”

Wolf says retailers could take a hit whether or not a hurricane makes landfall. If they shut down and the storm misses Houston, they’ll lose business. If they stay open and the storm strikes, they’d be liable for injury to their customers. Hurricane season begins June 1.

Bio photo of Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Business Reporter

Andrew Schneider joined KUHF in January 2011, after more than a decade as a print reporter for The Kiplinger Letter...