One year after Hurricane Florence, Buildfax examines how North Carolina has prepared its properties for increased risk of damage from natural disasters. According to Buildfax, properties in the path of Hurricane Florence were expected to see major repairs completed in seven to eight months, given the severity of the storm. However, the elevated severe weather, including the recent Hurricane Dorian has curtailed recovery progress.
Even though Dorian made less of an impact than Florence, it encountered North Carolina in a very different condition than it was a year prior. Property risk in North Carolina is still high not only from Hurricane Florence, but also from the severe convective storms and snowstorms that impacted the state in the latter half of 2018. While these storms don’t bring about the headlines that a tropical storm does, they have the potential to inflict serious damage on properties. Repeat weather events combined with tightening construction materials and labor markets and a slowing housing market have resulted in slow recovery across North Carolina.
On top of hurricanes, North Carolina was hit by severe snowstorms in December 2018, when over a foot of snow blanketed the state, stalling maintenance activity, causing thousands of power outages and leading to increased property risk in North Carolina.
Additionally, five months before Hurricane Florence made landfall in North Carolina, the state experienced severe spring convective storms, which ultimately necessitated a major disaster declaration from the Federal Emergency Management Association. Following April’s storm and tornado activity, BuildFax research found maintenance activity in North Carolina rose 20.32% month over month.
In September 2018, maintenance activity remained heightened in North Carolina as homeowners worked to repair properties damaged by spring convective storms. However, in the wake of these updates, Hurricane Florence hit, driving maintenance even higher. Maintenance activity rose 34.84% between September and October 2018 following Hurricane Florence.