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Hurricane Ian’s Potential Housing Impact

As of press time, CNN has reported that Hurricane Ian has now intensified to a Category 1 hurricane as it heads toward South Carolina, according to the National Weather Service. The storm made landfall along the southwestern coast of Florida as a powerful Category 4 hurricane Wednesday, and was later downgraded to a tropical storm.

The extremely dangerous conditions that Ian is causing—including catastrophic floods and life-threatening storm surge—will continue as the storm moves across Florida and north toward Georgia and South Carolina, according to the National Weather Service.

CoreLogic released a data analysis Wednesday showing 1,044,412 single-family and multifamily homes along the Florida gulf coast with a reconstruction cost value (RCV) of approximately $258.3 billion are at potential risk of storm surge damage from Hurricane Ian. These figures were assumed as Hurricane Ian made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane today; however, was recently downgraded to a tropical storm despite historic rainfall and flash flood warnings throughout most Florida counties.

“Hurricane Ian has all the ingredients you need for a bad storm surge event,” said Dr. Tom Jeffery, Senior Hazard Scientist at CoreLogic. “Due to Hurricane Ian’s slower speed and rapid intensification in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, the threat of a widening wind field bringing damaging storm surge increases each day. Many homes along Florida’s western coast are at risk of storm surge inundation regardless of where the storm makes landfall, and even more homeowners will contend with heavy rainfall and hurricane-force winds throughout mid-week.”

The chart above offers a breakdown of the residential single family and multi-family homes at risk of storm surge damage. This data indicates the total number of homes with exposure to storm surge damage given the current path of the storm. RCV figures represent the cost to completely rebuild homes in these areas, which CoreLogic estimates using detailed property characteristic data of each unique home combined with current localized costs of labor and building materials. The RCV figures assume 100% destruction of all at-risk homes and are not a representation of expected damages. As Hurricane Ian approaches Florida, its path will become more certain and the metropolitan areas at risk will narrow.

The 2022 CoreLogic Hurricane Report 

  • Hurricane-driven wind and storm surge analysis
    CoreLogic evaluated the storm surge and hurricane wind risk levels for both single-family (SFR) and multifamily (MFR) residences along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts for the 2022 hurricane season.
  • The impacts of hurricanes on communities
    For those who are homeowners, the result of a financial catastrophe results in mortgage delinquency rates increasing significantly as people, crippled by expenses and lost wages, fail to make monthly mortgage payments.
  • The pressures placed on restoration efforts
    As hurricane frequency and severity are expected to increase in the coming years, the catastrophic loss restoration business will be challenged to meet the growing need for workers (at all levels) in resource management, financial risk mitigation, workflow standards, and management of legal risks.
  • The influence of climate change
    Along with increasing hurricane frequency, sea-level rise, stronger winds, and higher rainfall rates have contributed to the increasingly damaging impact of hurricanes. They exacerbate the risk of coastal and inland flooding and increase the risk of structural damage.

Hurricane-driven storm surge can cause significant property damage when high winds and low pressure cause water to amass inside the storm, releasing a powerful rush over land when the hurricane moves onshore. For a complete view of total storm surge risk for all Atlantic and Gulf Coast states metropolitan areas, download the 2022 CoreLogic Hurricane Report.

To read the full report, including more charts and methodology, click here.

About Author: Demetria Lester

Demetria C. Lester is a reporter for DS News and MReport magazines with more than eight years of writing experience. She has served as content coordinator and copy editor for the Los Angeles Daily News and the Orange County Register, in addition to 11 other Southern California publications. A former editor-in-chief at Northlake College and staff writer at her alma mater, the University of Texas at Arlington, she has covered events such as the Byron Nelson and Pac-12 Conferences, progressing into her freelance work with the Dallas Wings and D Magazine. Currently located in Dallas, Texas, Lester is an avid jazz lover and likes to read. She can be reached at [email protected].

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