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Number of US Homes at Risk of Storm Surge Damage in 2015 Tops 6.6 Million

Total Reconstruction Cost Value of Homes is Nearly $1.5 Trillion

Tom Jeffery    |    Natural Hazard Risk

The U.S. Atlantic and Gulf coasts have been spared any significant hurricane damage over the past two years. While this is good news for residents living in these areas, it should not be perceived as the new normal.

New data released today by CoreLogic shows there are more than 6.6 million homes on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts at risk of damage from storm surge inundation. The total reconstruction cost value (RCV) for these homes is nearly $1.5 trillion. These numbers include all properties that are susceptible to storm surge from any category of storm, up through a Category 5 hurricane. It is most certainly a tragedy when homes are damaged or destroyed by storm surge, but that tragedy is magnified when homeowners are unaware that they are even located in an area in which storm surge is possible. Contrary to popular belief, storm surge risk is not limited only to homes right at the coastline. Water pushed ashore by hurricane-driven storm surge can travel through inland waterways and damage homes several miles inland.

The 2015 CoreLogic Storm Surge Report reveals that six states account for more than three-quarters of all at-risk homes nationally. Florida, with a long coastal exposure to cyclones, tops the list for highest number of properties at various risk levels with more than 2.5 million total homes susceptible to damage from Category 1-5 hurricanes. Additionally, Florida also ranks first for highest RCV, at more than $491 billion.

Rank State

Extreme

Cat 1 Storm

Very High

Cat 2

High

Cat 3

Moderate

Cat 4

Low

Cat 5

Total
1 Florida 793,204 461,632 524,923 352,102 377,951 2,509,812
2 Louisiana 97,760 104,059 337,495 138,762 82,196 760,272
3 New York 127,325 114,876 131,039 91,294 N/A 464,534
4 New Jersey 116,581 178,668 73,303 77,596 N/A 446,148
5 Texas 45,800 70,894 112,189 116,168 96,253 441,304
6 Virginia 94,260 115,770 98,463 84,015 27,544 420,052
7 South Carolina 107,443 57,327 65,885 46,799 30,961 308,415
8 North Carolina 73,463 51,927 48,595 40,155 37,347 251,487
9 Massachusetts 31,420 65,279 74,413 49,325 N/A 220,437
10 Maryland 47,990 39,966 27,591 28,975 N/A 144,522

States like New York, however, have much less coastline to deal with, but due to the density of residential housing along the coast, the number of homes potentially at risk tops 464,000 and has a total RCV that ranks second. The potential damage to New York was brought into perspective in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and its estimated $60 billion in damages, placing it second only behind Hurricane Katrina on the list of costliest Atlantic hurricanes.

© 2015 CoreLogic, Inc. All rights reserved.