Close to 500,000 homes in Louisiana could be damaged by hurricane-driven storm surges, the second-highest number nationwide, according to CoreLogic Inc.’s annual storm surge report.
The report says roughly 270,000 homes in the New Orleans metro area could be at risk for storm-surge flooding in a Category 5 hurricane, the most powerful type of storm. New Orleans ranked No. 4 on the metro list, with $38.7 billion worth of homes potentially at risk. The Baton Rouge metro area ranked No. 46, with 58,020 homes valued at $759.1 million, that might be flooded in a Category 5 storm.
Lafayette was No. 48, with 28,277 homes valued at $651.4 million; and Lake Charles was No. 50, with 65,242 homes valued at $508.6 million.
CoreLogic, a business analytics firm, developed the report to help insurance companies and financial services firms understand storm-surge risks.
This year’s report shows that 4 million homes, worth more than $700 billion, along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts could be damaged by hurricane storm.
“Though more frequently impacted states like Florida, Texas and Louisiana get the most attention when it comes to hurricane vulnerability and destruction, Hurricane Irene made it very clear last summer that hurricane risk is not confined to the southern parts of the country,” Howard Botts, vice president and director of database development for CoreLogic Spatial Solutions, said in a news release.
“That’s why we felt it was important this year to highlight storm-surge risk in a brand new way to establish a better understanding of exposure throughout the states that are most at risk of a direct hurricane hit,” Botts said. “As we got a glimpse of during Irene, our 2012 report shows even a Category 1 storm could cause property damage in the billions along the northeastern Atlantic Coast and force major metropolitan areas to shut down or evacuate.”
Florida has the most exposure to storm surges as 1.4 million homes worth $188 billion could be affected, according to the report. Other metro areas in the Top 5 were Virginia Beach, Va., 290,522 homes worth $46 billion; Miami with 229,413 homes valued at $42.7 billion; and Tampa, Fla., with 283,603 homes valued at $28.9 billion.