May 28, 2008 – (AP) -- Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine says 2008 has turned into a record year for storm damage in Georgia, with more than $400 million in insured losses during the first five months.

Oxendine said that documented insurance claims in Cherokee County, north Fulton and parts of Cobb county from severe storms last week total $13 million to 1,500 homes so far, with more expected.

That does not include downed power lines and losses to state and local governments due to damaged public property such as roads and bridges, overtime for emergency personnel and other costs.

Losses from the tornado that struck downtown Atlanta on March 14 have surpassed $300 million, Oxendine said. Another $125 million came in the Mother's Day twisters and severe thunderstorms that raked 14 counties, he said.

"It's been a remarkably unusual year for storms,'' the commissioner said, adding that he has not seen another like it in the 14 years he has held the insurance post.

Oxendine said the previous record for insured losses in Georgia was in 1998 when a tornado struck the Atlanta suburbs of Dunwoody and Gwinnett County, which he put at about $250 million.

The 1994 floods of central and southwest Georgia, the state's single worst natural disaster, caused losses of more than $500 million and 33 deaths.

Although at least 27 people were injured in the Atlanta storm in March, there was only one death. Two others died in a tornado that hit three counties the following day in northwest Georgia.

At least two died in the Mother's Day storms, but there have been no deaths reported as a result of last Tuesday's weather.