As Friday marks the official beginning of hurricane season, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that millions of homes in the U.S. are at risk of storm surge, and trillions of dollars in damages are possible. The NOAA forecasts this year’s hurricane season to be “near- or above-normal,” and CoreLogic projects that nearly 7 million homes are in danger zones. The threat comes as the National Flood Insurance Program—which provides flood insurance coverage to about 22,000 communities nationwide—is once again facing expiration.
Lawmakers’ ongoing attempts to reform the NFIP and allow its policies to be accessed through private insurance, rather than the federal government, have proven challenging. In the past few years, Congress has renewed the NFIP multiple times on a short-term basis. The National Association of REALTORS® is lobbying Congress to reauthorize the program before its July 31 expiration. Each time the program lapses, it results in the loss of 40,000 property sales per month, NAR estimates.
Total reconstruction costs this year due to hurricane damage are forecast to be more than $1.6 trillion—a 6.6 percent increase over 2017, according to CoreLogic’s report. The hike is mostly due to the higher costs for construction, equipment, and labor, CoreLogic says.
These are the top 10 metros most at risk of hurricane damage this year, according to CoreLogic:
- Miami: 788,679 (total homes at risk of a storm surge)
- New York: 726,048
- Tampa, Fla.: 459,082
- New Orleans: 395,975
- Virginia Beach, Va.: 389,938
- Fort Myers, Fla.: 318,950
- Houston: 284,622
- Bradenton, Fla.: 254,535
- Naples, Fla.: 186,100
- Jacksonville, Fla.: 171,322
Source: “Hurricane Season Bears Down—With 7 Million Homes at Risk and a Flood Insurance Program Set to Expire,” MarketWatch (June 1, 2018) and “The 2018 Storm Surge Report,” CoreLogic (May 2018)