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More Than 31 Million Homes are at Risk This Hurricane Season

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Resilient Construction

More Than 31 Million Homes are at Risk This Hurricane Season


June 7, 2021
Coastal homes and flood
Photo: scharfsinn86 | stock.adobe.com

This year’s hurricane season will not hit 2020 levels, but several large hurricanes will put more than 31 million U.S. homes at risk, according to Realtor.com. Real estate data firm CoreLogic says 31 million single-family homes and 1 million residential units are at moderate to significant risk this hurricane season, which runs from June to November. Approximately 21 to 35 hurricanes are forecasted to hit the U.S. with at least three predicted to be Category 3 or above. Last year, seven hurricanes were Category 3 or above and 30 storms were significant enough to be named.

They were nurtured by above-average seawater temperatures at the surface, one of the main factors in hurricane formation, says Danny Brouillette, a research scientist at Pennsylvania State University. This year, temperatures are higher than usual, but not as much.

Still, sea levels are rising, making the storm surges worse and leading to larger waves that can flood farther inland. This means even homeowners who don’t live on the water are being affected by these storms for the first time.

About 18.37 million single-family homes are at risk of Category 3 or above storm surge, which could cause nearly $1.83 trillion in damages, according to CoreLogic. About 73.6 million single-family homes are vulnerable to moderate or higher wind damage, estimated to cost roughly $18 trillion.

Homes in the 15 largest metropolitan areas make up more than two-thirds of properties vulnerable to storm surges this season. Metros include the main city and surrounding towns, suburbs, and smaller urban areas.

This is problematic because more people are moving to the Gulf and Atlantic coasts, which is putting more residents at risk from the storms. It also means the damages from these disasters will be higher than in areas with fewer people.

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