Special Report

Bradenton, FL Among the US Cities Most Vulnerable to Costly Hurricane Damage

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So far, 2021 has been a historic year for natural disasters in the United States. There were a record 18 weather and climate disasters costing more than $1 billion each in the first nine months of 2021, according to a report from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. Wildfires, severe storms, tornadoes, and extreme temperatures resulted in 538 deaths and $104.8 billion in damage nationwide from January through September — eclipsing totals from all of 2020.

Going forward, climate change will likely only continue to contribute to the increased frequency and severity of natural disasters, including hurricanes — the deadliest and most destructive classification of natural disaster threatening the United States. Over the past two decades, hurricanes have killed an average of over 300 Americans per year and resulted in overall damage totalling nearly $1 trillion.

According to a recent report from CoreLogic — a property information, analytics, and data provider — nearly 8 million single-family homes are at risk of storm surge damage from hurricanes, and over 31 million homes are at risk of damage from hurricane winds nationwide. These risks are disproportionately shouldered by metropolitan areas along the Eastern Seaboard and along the Gulf of Mexico.

With Tampa Bay to the north and the Gulf of Mexico to the west, Bradenton, Florida, is at risk of considerable damage from a hurricane storm surge. Nearly 285,000 area homes with a replacement value of $57.5 billion are at at least moderate risk of storm surge damage. More than 373,000 area homes are at risk of hurricane wind damage.

As recently as 2016, Hurricane Hermine brought heavy rains to Bradenton, flooding many homes and leading to evacuations. Flooding in the area resulted in an estimated $350,000 in damage.

All data on the number of at-risk homes and reconstruction cost value is from CoreLogic’s 2021 Hurricane Report. Metropolitan areas are ranked on the number of single-family residential structures less than four stories at moderate or greater risk of damage from storm surge flooding in the 2021 hurricane season.


Rank Metro area Single-family homes at risk of storm surge damage Total est. reconstruction cost value for storm surge damage ($, bil.) Population Recent severe hurricane
1 New York, NY 781,823 304.5 19,216,182 Sandy (2012)
2 Miami, FL 738,994 149.26 6,166,488 Andrew (1992)
3 Tampa, FL 544,433 100.8 3,194,831 Charley (2004)
4 New Orleans, LA 396,870 100.59 1,270,530 Katrina (2005)
5 Virginia Beach, VA 395,653 94.95 1,765,031 Matthew (2016)
6 Fort Myers, FL 321,940 67.02 770,577 Irma (2017)
7 Bradenton, FL 284,828 57.46 836,995 Hermine (2016)
8 Houston, TX 261,103 56.89 7,066,140 Harvey (2017)
9 Jacksonville, FL 220,301 52.71 1,559,514 Irma (2017)
10 Naples, FL 197,265 44.46 384,902 Irma (2017)
11 Charleston, SC 184,563 46.82 802,122 Hugo (1989)
12 Boston, MA 159,245 53.98 4,873,019 Bob (1991)
13 Myrtle Beach, SC 156,161 30.43 496,901 Hugo (1989)
14 Lafayette, LA 146,254 33.41 489,207 Ida (2021)
15 Baton Rouge, LA 136,951 34.27 854,884 Ida (2021)


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