Top 10 states at risk of hurricane storm surge damage in 2018

There are a myriad of risks associated with a storm surge, or the flooding and tsunami-like conditions caused by low pressure weather systems.

Consider that the deadliest storm surge on record, which happened in 1970 during the Bhola cyclone near the Bay of Bengal, killed roughly 500,000 people, and that the Hurricane Sandy storm surge in 2012 resulted in flooding as high as 14 feet in New York City.

Storm surges — and the devastation left in their wake — can be even more disheartening as they can occur in the hours just after an area has already suffered a severe weather event, when locals may have been tricked into thinking they could exhale.

Fresh research from the Irvine, Calif.-based financial analytics and business intelligence company CoreLogic reveals just how harmful (and expensive) storm surge damage can be.

The “2018 CoreLogic Storm Surge Report” includes the following takeaways for insurers and their policyholders living and doing business in affected states:

  • 9 million homes along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts are at risk for hurricane storm surge damage
  • Those homes have $1.6 trillion in potential reconstruction costs
  • Florida, Louisiana and Texas top the list of states with the most homes at risk

“While industry predictions for this year’s storm season indicate average activity levels, associated storm surge risk remains an important consideration for residential and commercial properties in the 19 states analyzed,” Dr. Tom Jeffery, senior hazard scientist at CoreLogic, said in a press release. “Depending on the location of a storm’s landfall and that area’s population density and reconstruction costs, lower Category storms can cause just as much damage as storms in higher categories.”

The photos below provide a closer look at the research.


(photo of Jekyll Island, GA is by Jo Jakeman)

10. Georgia

Total Number of Homes at risk: 152,559


(Photo of the Cape Cod National Seashore is from Wikipedia)

9. Massachusetts

Total Number of Homes at risk: 157,898


(Photo of the Eno River in North Carolina is from Wikipedia)

8. North Carolina

Total Number of Homes at risk: 259,718




7. South Carolina

Total Number of Homes at risk: 347,030




6. Virginia

Total Number of Homes at risk:409,129


(Associated Press Archive Photo- Lock 8 in Rotterdam, N.Y. overflowed in 2011 in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene.)

5. New York

Total Number of Homes at risk:462,380


(photo of damage caused by Hurricane Sandy is from Bloomberg)

4. New Jersey

Total Number of Homes at risk:471,353


(AP Images Archive Photo: Storm surge caused this car to be submerged on a Texas Freeway after Hurricane Harvey.)

3. Texas

Total Number of Homes at risk: 543,847


(AP Images: Hurricane Katrina clean-up and recovery lasted for years)

2. Louisiana

Total Number of Homes at risk: 817,480




(photo: Bloomberg)

1. Florida

Total Number of Homes at risk: 2,774,175

Posted 9:00 AM

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