Over 600,000 Homes Face Potential Damage From Hurricane Dorian

Hurricane Dorian may come ashore on the eastern coast of Florida as an extremely powerful Category 4 storm. While people can leave the areas the storm is most likely to hit, their property remains. A look at the areas most likely to be in the hurricane’s path shows that about 668,0000 homes are at risk of damage. That damage, primarily due to storm surge, could cost as much as $144 billion to repair.

Before many major storms, property research firm CoreLogic analyzes the value of the residential real estate in the path of the storm. The most recent CoreLogic data assumes Dorian will be a Category 3 storm when it reaches Florida. Its exact damage estimates call for potential damage to 668,052 homes with a total value of $144.6 billion. The homes are in what CoreLogic calls the “cone of uncertainty,” which is the spread of the area the National Weather Service forecasts Dorian is most likely to hit. CoreLogic uses the term “reconstruction cost value (RCV)” to reflect the current cost to replace the homes. Its figure reflects 100% destruction of all homes considered, or what CoreLogic calls the worst-case scenario.

CoreLogic cannot entirely take into account how long a storm will linger over any one point of land, which increases the odds of higher rainfall, or the level of tides or force of winds in a single area. However, its data relies on complex models that take into account “Single-family residential structures less than four stories, including mobile homes, duplexes, manufactured homes and cabins.”

It is highly unlikely that the damage will go as high as the CoreLogic numbers. In 2017, Hurricane Harvey caused just over $100 billion in damage, according to the NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.

For hurricane watchers, 24/7 Wall St. has put together a list of the 70 most powerful storms in history.

Dorian is so large and the area it will hit is so densely populated that the damage to property almost certainly will be devastatingly high. Across such a huge area, it will be months before any real estimate will be available.

Storm Year Category Damage (Billions)
Katrina (SE FL, LA, MS) 2005 3 $125.00
Harvey (TX, LA) 2017 4 $125.00
Sandy (Mid-Atlantic & NE US) 2012 1 $65.00
Irma (FL) 2017 4 $50.00
Ike (TX, LA) 2008 2 $30.00
Andrew (SE FL/LA) 1992 5 $27.00
Ivan (AL/NW FL) 2004 3 $20.50
Wilma (S FL) 2005 3 $19.00
Rita (SW LA, N TX) 2005 3 $18.50
Charley (SW FL) 2004 4 $16.00
Irene (Mid-Atlantic & NE US) 2011 1 $13.50
Matthew (SE US) 2016 1 $10.00
Frances (FL) 2004 2 $9.80
Allison (N TX) 2001 TS $8.50
Jeanne (FL) 2004 3 $7.50
Hugo (SC) 1989 4 $7.00
Floyd (Mid-Atlantic & NE US) 1999 2 $6.50
Gustav (LA) 2008 2 $6.00
Isabel (Mid-Atlantic) 2003 2 $5.50
Fran (NC) 1996 3 $5.00
Opal (NW FL) 1995 3 $4.70
Alicia (N TX) 1983 3 $3.00
Isaac (LA) 2012 1 $2.80
Georges (FL Keys, MS, AL) 1998 2 $2.50
Dennis (NW FL) 2005 3 $2.50
Agnes (FL/NE US) 1972 1 $2.10
Frederic (AL/MS) 1979 3 $1.70
Bob (NC, NE US) 1991 2 $1.50
Juan (LA) 1985 1 $1.50
Camille (MS/SE LA/VA) 1969 5 $1.42
Betsy (SE FL/SE LA) 1965 3 $1.42
Elena (MS/AL/NW FL) 1985 3 $1.30
Dolly (S TX) 2008 1 $1.30
Lili (SC LA) 2002 1 $1.10
Alberto (AL, GA) 1994 TS $1.03
Bonnie (Mid-Atlantic) 1998 2 $1.00

Source: National Hurricane Center. Mainland U.S. tropical cyclones causing at least a billion dollars of damage, 1900 to 2017, (not adjusted for inflation).

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