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Home » Top 10 U.S. metro areas at risk for hurricane storm surge damage
July 11, 2014

Top 10 U.S. metro areas at risk for hurricane storm surge damage

CoreLogic analysis finds more than 6.5 million U.S. homes at risk, with $986 billion concentrated in 15 major metro areas.


July 10, 2014 • Reprints

More than 6.5 million U.S. homes along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts lie in the path of potential storm surge inundation, representing nearly $1.5 trillion in total potential reconstruction costs, according to the 2014 storm surge analysis by global property analytics provider CoreLogic.

The analysis examined homes along the coastlines of 19 states and the District of Columbia, as far west as Texas and as far north as Maine. The concepts in the survey complement Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flood zone information to provide a snapshot of potential damage exposure at the property level, as many properties located outside designated FEMA flood zones are still at risk for storm surge damage.

To enhance accuracy, the 2014 analysis included new construction and expanded single-family residential structures to include mobile and manufactured homes, resulting in a higher number of total homes identified within potential surge areas. Replacement values represent estimates of reconstruction costs including labor and material, and based on 100% destruction of the residential structure. CoreLogic uses Marshall & Swift/Boeckh(MSB) reconstruction valuation data, which are based on reconstruction cost estimates rather than market valuation data.

Although scientific predictions suggest lower-than-normal storm activity for 2014, the risk of significant damage to homes is a constant threat. “Though the 2013 hurricane season will be remembered for the fact that no storms made landfall along the U.S. coast, this reprieve from hurricane-related damage should not lead to complacency in preparing for future storms and the potential life-threatening conditions they can bring,” said Dr. Thomas Jeffery, senior hazard scientist for CoreLogic Spatial Solutions. “This year’s season is projected to be slightly below normal in hurricane activity, but the early arrival of Hurricane Arthur on July 3 is an important reminder that even a low-category hurricane or strong tropical storm can create powerful riptides, modest flooding and cause significant destruction of property.”

Florida topped the list for states with the highest number of homes at risk of storm surge damage, with nearly 2.5 million homes at various risk levels and $490 billion in total potential loss.

Additional findings include:

  • The five states with the highest total number of properties at risk are Florida (2,488,277), Louisiana (738,165), New York (466,919), New Jersey (445,928) and Texas (434,421).
  • The five states with the highest value of reconstruction costs for homes at risk include: Florida ($490,403,653,377), New York ($182,474,294,695), Louisiana ($161,062,467,382) New Jersey ($134,194,963,314) and Virginia ($92,001,482,217).
  • Home reconstruction value in the Gulf is much less than the reconstruction value of homes in the Atlantic region. The total reconstruction cost value of homes along the Atlantic coast is nearly $951 billion, approximately double the value of at-risk properties in the Gulf region at just over $545 billion. 

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