Report: 32K NC Homes Face 'Extreme Risk' Of Flooding

Jun 7, 2018

File photo of flooding along NC 211 near Lumberton after Hurricane Matthew in 2016. A report on the potential for hurricane damage says more than 250,000 homes in North Carolina face some chance of flooding.
Credit Jay Price / WUNC

A report on the potential for hurricane damage says more than 250,000 homes in North Carolina face some chance of flooding.  

The firm Core-Logic ran simulations based on historical data to determine the riskiest spots for rainfall and storm surge. About 32,000 homes in the coastal plain are in the "extreme risk" category, according to Core-Logic senior hazard scientist Tom Jeffrey.

“And combine that with the fact that you might not get all the press that Florida does or Louisiana does in terms of being an impact zone, but the frequency of storms that hit the South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia area is relatively high,” he said.

The 250,000 homes on the list would cost a combined $54 billion to replace if they were totally destroyed, according to Jeffrey. The report identifies Wilmington, Kill Devil Hills and Elizabeth City as some of the highest risk areas in the state.

“It is not the appraised value and it does not include the land value. It's actually just the structure itself, and it's the cost based on labor and materials to reproduce that structure.”

North Carolina has several risk factors, including a long coastline and inlets or rivers that can easily flood, Jeffrey said.

“Different storms have different impacts,” Jeffrey said. “We try to look at the maximum values for water height, then we look at the land surface. Once it moves on shore, how far inland or at what elevation will that water present a flooding risk of a flooding problem?”

The Atlantic hurricane season started on June 1.
 

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