Monday, August 31, 2015

Tampa-St. Petersburg metropolitan area is the most vulnerable U.S. region to flood damages from a hurricane

A new study from Karen Clark & Co. shows the Tampa-St. Petersburg metropolitan area is the most vulnerable U.S. region to flood damages from a hurricane.

As opposed to most other vulnerability studies, this one considers property damages from a storm surge associated with a 100-year hurricane.

The 100-year hurricane is an event for which there is a 1 percent chance of occurrence each year. Tampa’s 100-year hurricane is defined as a strong category 4 with top winds of 150 mph. Damages from the storm surge associated with such a hurricane would reach up to $175 billion.

Losses in the region are predicted to be higher than those in New Orleans ($130 billion), New York City ($100 billion) and Miami ($80 billion).

Sarasota ranks as the seventh-most vulnerable city with projected losses of $50 million.

The large, shallow continental shelf off the coast of west Florida combined with the funnel effect of water surging into the bay could lead to a massive amount of property damage in the surrounding areas, the study shows. The study also states that the majority of the potential flood damage is not currently insured.


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