The 2018 CoreLogic Storm Surge Report was released Thursday by CoreLogic, a global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider.
“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,” said 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.”
As the U.S. enters hurricane season, the report shows that more than 6.9 million homes along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts are at potential risk of damage from hurricane storm surge surge with a total reconstruction cost value (RCV) of more than $1.6 trillion (Table 1).
Already according to predictions of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the 2018 hurricane season is expected to have near- to above-normal activity. NOAA predicts a 70 percent chance of 10 to 16 named storms. While not all of them will develop into hurricanes, NOAA predicts five to nine of these will develop into hurricanes, and one to four are predicted to reach Category 3 classification or higher.
According to the report, risk from hurricane-driven storm surge for homes along the Atlantic and Gulf coastlines across 19 states, as well as for 86 metro areas is analyzed in the risk CoreLogic analysis. 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). RCV figures represent the cost to completely rebuild a property in case of damage – including labor and materials by geographic location – assuming the worst-case scenario at 100-percent destruction.
Regionally, the Atlantic Coast has more than 3.9 million homes at risk of storm surge with an RCV of more than $1 trillion (Table 2), 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, with over $16 billion increase compared to 2017. Areas with less coastal exposure but with lower elevations that extend inland tend to have more total homes at risk because the surge water can travel farther inland. Additionally, due to market conditions and previous storm surge damage, construction costs can increase despite having a lower number of at-risk homes compared to other states or Core-Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs).