Gulf Coast Dreading Hurricane Isaac: Will Residential Property Survive?

August 31, 2012 / Russell Legato, Residential Property Analyst

It’s prominent in the news. Hurricane Isaac: property damage may cost upwards of $27 billion for residential destruction. Now Tropical Storm Isaac is wending its way over the Atlantic towards the Gulf Coast. Forecasters base their predictions on current conditions. It is supposed to turn into a Category 1 hurricane. If it does, it will have the dubious distinction of being the United States’ first hurricane of 2012.

Gulf Coast Dreading Hurricane Isaac: Will Residential Property Survive?

According to storm expert, Dr. Howard Botts, in spite of continuing changes in direction, Isaac seems destined to strike early Wednesday. What is called the CoreLogic analysis is a measurement of damage from storm surge as a single effect. It is gauged separately from wind and rain damage. Especially worrisome is the fact that New Orleans may again be devastated by flooding. There is hope that the new reinforcements on the levee system will be able to withstand the impact. Other populated metro areas possibly in for trouble are Baton Rouge, La.; Pensacola and Tallahassee, Fla., Biloxi, Miss.; and Mobile, Ala.

Databanks specify nearly 21,000 residential homes in seven major areas on the Gulf Coast are likely to be hit by flooding damage of more than $27.7 billion. It is the amount gauged on the likely impact of Tropical Storm Isaac if it whips into the frenzy of a hurricane.

The hurricane Isaac: property damage, if it occurs, will result from two things. One is the high wind damage. The other is when the movement of the hurricane and low pressure forces water to be propelled by the storm and rush over the land as the hurricane moves in from the ocean. Storm surge differs from wind damage and rain damage that are part of a hurricane.

It was seven years ago that Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans and surrounding areas. More than 1,800 people were killed and the city was left ravaged by flood damage costing $81 billion in damage. What a horror of an anniversary if Isaac turns out to be half the devastating devil Katrina was.

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