More than 6.5 million homes along the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf coasts are at risk of storm surge inundation, representing nearly $1.5 trillion in total potential reconstruction costs, according to CoreLogic’s 2014 storm surge analysis.
More than $986 billion of that risk is concentrated within 15 major metro areas, the analysis reveals. This exposure could constitute significant risk for homeowners and financial services companies, as many at-risk homes are outside designated flood zones and lack protection from insurance coverage.
Florida is the riskiest state, with nearly 2.5 million homes at risk from storm surge and $490 billion in total potential exposure to damage.
At the local level, the New York metropolitan area, which also includes northern New Jersey and Long Island, contains not only the highest number of homes at risk for potential storm surge damage (687,412) but also the highest total reconstruction value of homes exposed, at more than $251 billion.
Total exposure varies significantly from state to state given differences in population, trends in residential development, geographic risk factors, length of coastline and other distinguishing factors. Extensive coastlines put Florida and Texas in the top five states for number of properties at risk, while Louisiana and New Jersey are included as a result of relatively low elevation that allows storm surge inundation to extend farther inland and affect more homes.
Additional findings in the CoreLogic storm surge analysis include:
- The five states with the highest total number of properties at risk include: 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).
- The total reconstruction cost value of homes along the Atlantic coast is nearly $951 billion, which is approximately double the value of at-risk properties in the Gulf region at just over $545 billion.
The analysis was expanded this year to encompass additional categories of single-family residential structures including mobile homes, duplexes, manufactured homes and cabins, among other nontraditional home types, leading to a higher number of total homes identified within potential surge areas. The values represent estimates of reconstruction costs, taking into account labor and materials, and are based on total destruction of the residential structure.
The analysis examined homes along the coastlines of 19 states and the District of Columbia in the Gulf and Atlantic regions, extending as far west as Texas and as far north as Maine.