Following several years of quiet hurricane seasons, a new report by CoreLogic, a property infor- mation and analytics company
based in Irvine, Calif., says that as many as
6. 8 million homes along the Atlantic and
Gulf coasts could be at risk for hurricane
This could be an issue as the El Niῇo
weather pattern which normally suppress-es hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean yields
to the La Niῇa pattern, known for generating more tropical storms and hurricanes.
The good news is that the number of
homes in the most extreme category has
dropped, as has the value of those homes
at risk. The study also highlights the total
reconstruction cost for homes along the
coasts at more than $1.5 trillion.
“Using more granular-level data has
given us an even clearer picture of which
homes are at risk of storm surge damage,”
said Tom Jeffery, senior hazard risk scien-
tist for CoreLogic. “Despite the overall in-
creases in risk, we were glad to see that the
number and value of homes in the most
extreme, and dangerous, category actually
declined. It just goes to show the power of
how advanced data can improve risk as-
sessment at the property level.”
Along the Atlantic Coast, the report in-
dicates that just under 3. 9 million homes
could be affected by storm surge and the
cost to rebuild them would run $953 bil-
lion. There are an estimated 2. 9 million
homes along the Gulf Coast that are at risk
with a price tag of $592 billion in potential
Here are the top five areas at most risk:
No. 1: Florida
Several factors determine a state’s risk rate.
Texas and Florida have the longest coastal
areas, which puts more homes at risk than
some other states. Florida ranks number
one with 2. 7 million homes at risk with 1.7
million in the high to extreme risk categories. According to CoreLogic, it also leads
the country in reconstruction cost value at
Two areas in Florida, Fort Lauderdale
and West Palm Beach, have the highest
number of homes at risk with 780,482 and
a reconstruction cost value of just under
No. 2: Louisiana
Louisiana has less coastal exposure, but its
low-level elevation puts 800,521 homes at
risk, placing it second in the country for the
number of homes that could be affected.
The reconstruction cost value totals
more than $184.3 billion. Over 600,000
homes fall into the high to extreme risk
categories with those homes comprising
$139.8 billion of the reconstruction costs.
No. 3: Texas
Texas ranks third with 531,169 homes at
risk, but fifth in terms of the reconstruction costs at $91 billion.
Houston, which has been pummeled by
rain and flooding this spring, is the only
Texas-based city listed in CoreLogic’s top
15 metropolitan areas at risk for storm
surge with 280,112 potential homes that
could be impacted and a reconstruction
value of $51.8 billion.
No. 4: New Jersey
New Jersey and New York don’t have as
much coastal area that could be exposed to
storm surge, but as Hurricane Sandy demonstrated, both states are at risk because the
distance the storm surge can travel inland.
New Jersey has 468,823 homes at risk,
placing it fourth on the list, with 378,000
homes falling in the high to extreme categories. The state also places fourth for
the reconstruction value costs at almost
No. 5: New York
Rounding out the top five states at risk
for hurricane storm surge damage is New
York, with a total of 458,730 homes.
All but 114,903 of those homes fall into
the high to extreme risk areas. New York
City is No. 2 on the list of top metropolitan
areas at risk with an estimated reconstruction cost value of $260.1 billion. CoreLogic found where a storm hits is far more
important than the number of storms that
may form in any given year.
The analysis complements the flood
zone information provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and
shows that properties located outside of
flood zones are still at risk for damage from
storm surges, as well as fresh water.
6. 8 Million Homes at Risk
for Hurricane Storm Surge
By Patricia L. Harman, PropertyCasualty360.com