U.S. Cities Facing $300 Billion Exposure to Storm Surge
A recent report illustrates the dire nature of storm surge exposure in several major U.S. cities. The Storm Surge Report, developed by CoreLogic, revealed hurricane-driven storm surge flooding could cause billions in damage to residential structures in 2011.
“The local flood zones defined by FEMA in high-risk coastal regions provide a great deal of exposure data for homes in the path of flood waters, but understanding the additional layer of risk posed by a storm surge is critical for homeowners, emergency response teams, insurance companies and many others to plan and prepare for natural catastrophes,” said Dr. Howard Botts, executive vice president and director of database development for CoreLogic Spatial Solutions. “As the report shows, in many cases, homes exposed to potential storm-surge inundation are located outside of designated flood zones, and those homeowners need to be aware of their vulnerability to severe damage and property losses.”
Of the various areas studied in the report, Long Island, New York, was found to have the highest exposure to risk of storm surge. The top 10 breaks down as follows:
- Long Island, NY – $99 billion
- Miami-Dade, FL – $44.9 billion
- Virginia Beach, VA – $44.6 billion
- New Orleans, LA – $39 billion
- Tampa, FL – $27 billion
- Houston, TX – $20 billion
- Jacksonville, FL – $19.6 billion
- Charleston, SC – $17.7 billion
- Corpus Christi, TX – $4.7 billion
- Mobile, AL – $3 billion
Considering that this year’s hurricane forecast calls for 16 named storms and five major hurricanes for the 2011 season, it could be a costly storm season for the 10 cities listed above. As more and more coastal areas succumb to residential building, the cost of such natural disasters increases exponentially. When will we learn?