A new Zillow report finds that $1 trillion worth of residential homes sit in the potential path of Hurricane Florence.

As of this writing, the Atlantic hurricane is a Category 2, heading toward southeastern North Carolina and South Carolina. There is still a chance it could impact parts of Virginia.

As has been the case in recent catastrophic hurricane events, most recently Hurricane Harvey‘s 2017 landfall in Houston, most of the fear is rooted in the impact of flooding, a result of hours of prolonged downpours swelling rural and municipal bodies of water.

Harvey became the second most costly tropical storm in United States history, its damage costing just less than Hurricane Katrina’s.

Southeastern North Carolina is particularly known for its network of low-lying rivers, canals, and ocean-fed sounds and inlets. It has 37 counties considered part of its coastal watershed, as defined by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. South Carolina has 22.

Zillow broke down the values per state accordingly:

  • Virginia: 1.8 million homes worth $658 billion
  • North Carolina: 898,000 homes worth $168 billion
  • South Carolina: 882,000 homes worth $205 billion

The Raleigh newspaper also cited Bloomberg’s Jim Efstathiou Jr. estimate that when the clouds part, Florence could rank in the top ten of most expensive storms, landing the tab somewhere around $27 billion.

North Carolina is consistently battling the enviornment as a result of its location along the country’s central east coast, and it’s elbow-shaped, chain of loosely connected barrier islands, the Outer Banks.

The popular vacation destination is home to thousands of rental homes, many of which rest on 200 miles of fragile, shifting sand dunes and thinly-protected islands, where ocean tides lap at deck supports and first-story stairwells. Many have been moved in recent years.

In 1999, the risk of beach erosion prompted the National Park Service to move the Cape Hatteras lighthouse, one of the nation’s most recognized coastal landmarks.

In a US News & World Report article this week, Robert S. Young, director of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines (a joint venture between Duke University and Western Carolina University), said that Florence could be the most destructive storm to hit North Carolina’s coast since record keeping began.

Beyond real estate, damage estimates include that caused to utilities, streets, and other forms of public infrastructure.

Show Comments Hide Comments

Comments

Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
Success!
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
We are less than 1 week away from Inman Connect! Get your ticket for $99 before prices go up next week.GET YOUR TICKET×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription