Long Island tops list of metro areas at risk of massive storm damage
The top 10 metro areas with residential properties at risk of major damage in a storm surge reveals risk exposure at more than $300 billion. Long Island represents nearly one third of the total exposure with $99 billion in residential property at risk of damage, according to the 2011 Storm Surge report from CoreLogic. The island jutting east from Manhattan encompasses the New York city boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, as well as suburban Suffolk and Nassau counties. CoreLogic offers a flood monitoring service that allows lenders and insurance companies to assess the risk of damage to properties in case of a storm surge. The Federal Emergency Management Agency flood zone information does not take into account the impact of hurricane force winds pushing walls of water inland. "Important to note is that in many cases, homes exposed to potential storm-surge inundation are located outside of a defined FEMA flood zone," the CoreLogic report states. New Orleans, the city decimated by Hurricane Katrina, dropped significantly on the list, which is now in its second year. New Orleans now ranks fourth with $39 billion in risk exposure. (The methodology for 2011 was re-calibrated so correlations to the 2010 list are not direct comparisons.) "Now that the Army Corps of Engineers has completed raising the area levees, rebuilding flood walls and creating a massive Lake Borgne Surge Barrier to provide a greater level of protection against hurricane storm-surge damage, many of the properties previously designated as in a high-risk surge zone have a significantly lower chance of exposure to property destruction," the report states. In Long Island, as well as other metro areas high on the list, no such measures are being considered. The Miami-Palm Beach region with $44.9 billion of exposure is in the second spot, followed by Virginia Beach with $44.6 billion of exposure. However, it is important to note the risk assessment is based on property values. In the CoreLogic chart below both Long Island and New Orleans show a similar amount of properties at risk of storm surge damage. However, in Long Island, homes are worth more. (Click on chart to expand.) Write to Jacob Gaffney. Follow him on Twitter @JacobGaffney.