10 US cities hurricanes could devastate

Published June 12, 2013

| 24/7 Wall St.

On June 1, the Atlantic hurricane season officially began. According to a report released earlier this week, an estimated $1.1 trillion in property are at risk of hurricane damage. More than $658 billion of those homes are located within just 10 metropolitan areas.

Property data analytics firm CoreLogic's "2013 Storm Surge Report" reviewed storm surge and flooding models for hurricanes to identify the metropolitan areas at greatest risk of property damage. With an estimated $205 billion at risk, the greater New York City area, which was decimated by Hurricane Sandy last October, has the most property on the line. Based on CoreLogic’s estimates, these are the 10 cities a hurricane could damage the most.

A Category 5 hurricane is unlikely to hit any major U.S. city this season. If Sandy is any indication, however, it does n0t take a Category 5 hurricane to cause massive damage. The Category 1 hurricane has an impact on 650,000 homes and caused an estimated $50 billion in damage. In most of these major metro areas, even a Category 1 hurricane would cause at least $10 billion in damage.

A number of factors contribute to the potential cost caused by a hurricane. The number of homes in some areas is a factor, as is their average value. Tampa has roughly 300,000 properties at risk, compared to Miami’s 240,000. However, the total value of property in the Miami area that is at risk is more than double that of Tampa’s. This means the total property destruction in Miami during a hurricane could potentially exceed $100 billion — the second most of any metro area in the country — compared to Tampa’s $55 billion.

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