Hurricane Matthew Threatens $325 Billion Storm Damage to Atlantic Coast

Paul Ausick

Hurricane Matthew has killed at least 39 people and driven thousands more from their homes in southern Haiti and the Bahamas, and by late Thursday the storm is expected to punch the Atlantic coast of Florida as a Category 4 storm with winds of 131 to 155 mph. The storm is then forecast to track along the Florida, Georgia, and Carolinas coasts, leaving a path of destruction in its wake.

Last June researchers at CoreLogic released its 2016 Storm Surge Report that included an estimate of the number of homes at risk from storm surge flooding and the replacement cost value of those homes. Including all states along the Atlantic coast from Florida to Maine, CoreLogic estimated that nearly 3.9 million homes are at risk from storm surges and that the replacement cost for all those homes exceeds $953 billion.

Narrowing the data further, CoreLogic estimates the following number of homes at risk and their replacement cost from Hurricane Matthew if it reaches the U.S. Atlantic coast as a Category 4 storm:

  • Florida: more than 954,000 properties valued at $189 billion
  • Georgia: nearly 138,000 properties valued at $30.2 billion
  • South Carolina: more than 287,000 properties valued at $67.6 billion
  • North Carolina: about 198,000 properties valued at $39.7 billion

Total potential damage from the storm is around $326.5 billion to some 1.5 million properties.

The storm is expected to make landfall somewhere between West Palm Beach and Cape Canaveral, Florida, sometime Thursday night. If that is the case, the massive storm will miss the Miami area, where as many as 575,000 properties could be affected by a Category 4 hurricane.

But CoreLogic estimates that nearly 100,000 properties are endangered by the storm in Daytona Beach. Another 68,000 in Melbourne and nearly 120,000 in Jacksonville are also threatened.