Security Newswire

Report: NYC Has Most to Lose in a Hurricane

June 7, 2012

A new report suggests that the greater New York City area is the greatest financial risk for hurricane damage, according to a Reuters report.

Data analysis from CoreLogic said in a Thursday report that the U.S. metropolitan area at greatest risk – both in the number of properties affected and the potential value of damage – was New York City (including Long Island and northern New Jersey).

After damage from Hurricane Irene, which was downgraded to a tropical storm as it passed through New Jersey and New York City last summer, was estimated at as much as $6 billion, analysts received some startling insight into the damage that a relatively weak storm can cause in the NYC area, the article says.

But in 2012, according to landfall tables from Colorado State University, the odds for a hurricane hitting Miami are 5.2 percent, while the odds for New York City are only at 0.2 percent. However, over a 50-year period, those odds increase to a total 95.5 percent for Miami and 6.6 percent for New York, Reuters reports.

The risk of flooding is especially worrisome. Although most people might associate hurricane damage with wind, a storm surge from rising waters caused by cyclones has just as much, if not more, impact, the article says.

One of the insurance industry’s nightmares, says the Reuters article, is that a major hurricane will travel up the Hudson River and strike the city, causing an estimated $100 billion in insured losses alone, with economic damage even greater than that.  CoreLogic estimates that the property at risk in the New York City area is worth some $168 billion.

In total, CoreLogic said that more than four million U.S. homes are at risk from flood damage related to hurricanes, with more than $700 billion in property potentially vulnerable.

There are 2.2 million homes worth more than $500 billion at risk along the Atlantic coast, the article says, with another 1.8 million homes worth $200 billion at risk along the Gulf coast.

About 35 percent of the at-risk homes are in Florida, and another 12 percent are in Louisiana, the article says.

In terms of property value, more than 40 percent of the risk is concentrated in Florida and New York. 

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