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Report Projects Texas Has Over 500,000 Homes At Risk Of Flooding Due To Storm Surge

Data company CoreLogic releases its Storm Surge Report for the 2018 hurricane season

This file photo shows homes surrounded by water from the flooded Brazos River in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Freeport, Texas. A report released by the data and analytics company CoreLogic indicates that, regarding the 2018 hurricane season, Texas has more than 500,000 homes are at risk of flooding because of storm surge flooding.

On the eve of the beginning of the 2018 hurricane season, Texas has more than 500,000 homes that are at risk of flooding because of storm surge flooding and –in a worst case scenario of total destruction of properties— the reconstruction costs could exceed $100 billion, according to a report released Thursday by CoreLogic, a data and analytics company based in California.

CoreLogic prepares its Storm Surge Reports using a methodology that combines simulations and different types of data from several sources, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the United States Geological Survey, as well as data owned by CoreLogic.

The report provides data and analysis for the 19 states that border the Atlantic coast and the Gulf of Mexico.

Tom Jeffery, a senior hazard scientist who works for CoreLogic, explained the simulations are for the purpose of “determining what the water height will be in the event a hurricane is pushing storm surge water.”

The types of homes analyzed in the report are “single-family residential structures less than four stories,” including mobile homes, duplexes, manufactured homes and cabins.

Specifically in Texas, there are 543,847 homes at risk of flooding because of storm surge, according to the report, but Florida and Louisiana have a higher risk.

Florida has 2.7 million homes at risk, while Louisiana has 817,480.

The report’s section on reconstruction costs specifies that its projections represent the cost to completely rebuild a property and it uses the premise of “worst-case scenario at 100-percent destruction,” also referred to as total destruction of the residential structure.

In the case of Texas, the total reconstruction costs could amount to $103 billion.

The report also has projections for Houston specifically. It indicates there are 284,622 homes at risk of flooding because of storm surge, with the potential reconstruction costs amounting to $57 billion.

In an interview with Houston Matters, Jeffery noted that, because of the massive damage Hurricane Harvey caused last year, people are very aware and in some cases “hyper aware of the risks associated with these storms.”

Jeffery recommends that homeowners research the level of risk for their properties, for instance by contacting insurance experts.

Regarding the 2018 hurricane season, NOAA has predicted there could be between 10 and 16 named storms, and between five and nine hurricanes. Additionally, NOAA’s prediction is there could be between one and four major hurricanes.

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Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz

Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz

General Assignment Reporter

Alvaro 'Al' Ortiz is originally from Spain. He worked for several years in his home country and gained experience in all varieties of journalism, from wire services to print, as well as broadcast news and digital reporting. In 2001, Al came to the United States to pursue a Master's degree...

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