- Hurricane Matthew is a category 4 hurricane descending upon Florida and creeping up the east coast.
- An estimated $54 billion in home damages on the Atlantic Coast is predicted by CoreLogic.
- FEMA flood zones and surge zones are two different categories of homes, but only FEMA flood zones require a policy with the National Flood Insurance Program.
Some homeowners are bracing for the worst as Hurricane Matthew now claws and crawls its way up the east coast of Florida.
But the Sunshine State is resilient in the face of disaster, made apparent in the rebuilding following September 2004’s trifecta of Hurricanes Charley, Frances and Jeanne, which pummeled Florida for six weeks en route to nearly $15 billion in estimated reconstruction value (RCV).
A new CoreLogic Storm Surge Report predicts Hurricane Matthew, a category four hurricane like Charley, will affect 291,918 homes on the Atlantic Coast with an estimated RCV of over $54 billion.
Florida, because of its exposure to both the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, ranks no. 1 in terms of the number of at-risk homes, with approximately 2.7 million. The next closest state is Louisiana with 800,521, the report shows.
Miami ranked as the top at-risk metro, with an estimated 780,482 homes in danger of feeling nature’s wrath. The estimated RCV of all surge zones in Miami is just shy of $144 billion, CoreLogic says.
Texas ranked no. 3, with just over 531,000 at-risk homes. However, the CoreLogic report focused on hurricanes and did not take into account flood damages as a result of summer rains.
Still, Houston ranked no. 7, with 280,112 at-risk homes and over $50 billion estimated RCV.
Ranking no. 2 in terms of at-risk homes, New York City’s estimated RCV is over $260 billion. According to CoreLogic, NYC is not considered a “hurricane risk” state, but the population density that is exposed to what little coastline exists is much higher than other places. For example, the NYC metro has 719,373 homes exposed, but New York State 458,730 total properties exposed — highlighting the amount of multi-family dwellings in the city.
Flood areas and storm surge
The CoreLogic report also looked at storm flooding and surge zones, pointing out homes that are classified in “surge zones” sometimes fall out of the purview of the FEMA 100-year floodplains, and therefore are not required to hold flood policies through the National Flood Insurance Program.
NYC, for instance, ranks no. 5 on this list because of the surge zone. Out of the 753,386 homes at-risk to flood or surge inundation, 69.7 percent are located only in the surge zone.
In Houston, 57.1 percent are in the surge zone only, but that’s over half of 388,499 homes that are totally exposed.
There are nearly one million total homes in the surge and flood zone in Miami, but only 39.3 percent of them are inland enough to be classified as at-risk in the surge zone. There are over 388,000 homes located in both a surge zone and a FEMA special flood hazard area (SFHA) in Miami.
Even Washington D.C. ranks on the list, but its total figures are relatively laughable compared to other markets. Of the 16,290 potentially affected homes, 5,598 are at risk in the surge zone in D.C.