CoreLogic’s just-released 2018 CoreLogic Storm Surge Report finds that more than 6.9 million homes along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts are at potential risk of damage from hurricane storm surge inundation, with a total reconstruction cost value (RCV) of more than $1.6 trillion.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), there’s a 70 percent chance the 2018 hurricane season will have 10 to 16 named storms. Five to nine of these will develop into hurricanes, and one to four are predicted to reach Category 3 classification or higher.
Florida has high risk
At the state level, Florida has the most coastal exposure and the most susceptibility to storm surge flooding of the 19 states analyzed, with more than 2.7 million at-risk homes across the five risk categories.
Homes are categorized by five risk levels: Low (homes affected only by a Category 5 storm), Moderate (homes affected by Category 4 and 5 storms), High (homes affected by Category 3, 4 and 5 storms), Very High (homes affected by Category 2, 3, 4 and 5 storms) and Extreme (homes affected by Category 1-5 storms).
Louisiana ranks second with over 817,000 at-risk homes, Texas ranks third with more than 543,000 at-risk homes, and New Jersey ranks fourth with over 471,000 at-risk homes.
Since the number of homes at risk strongly correlates with the accompanying RCV, Florida also has the highest RCV at over $552 billion. Notably, New York ranks second in RCV with over $190 billion, despite its fifth-place ranking in number of homes at risk, due to the density of the residential population near the coast and higher construction costs in this state.
“While industry predictions for this year’s storm season indicate average activity levels, associated storm surge risk remains an important consideration for residential and commercial properties in the 19 states analyzed,” says Dr. Tom Jeffery, senior hazard scientist at CoreLogic. “Depending on the location of a storm’s landfall and that area’s population density and reconstruction costs, lower category storms can cause just as much damage as storms in higher categories.”
Regionally, the Atlantic Coast has more than 3.9 million homes at risk of storm surge with an RCV of more than $1 trillion – an increase of around $30 billion compared to 2017. The Gulf Coast has more than 3 million homes at risk with over $609 billion in potential exposure to total destruction damage, a $16 billion increase compared to 2017.
Areas with less coastal exposure but lower elevations that extend inland tend to have more total homes at risk because the surge water can travel farther inland.
© 2018 Florida Realtors®