North Carolina

$1 trillion in homes sit in the path of Hurricane Florence

Myrtle Beach residents fill sandbags ahead of Hurricane Florence

The City of Myrtle Beach is offering free sand off Oak Street near the intersection of Myrtle Joe White Avenue. Residents are asked to bring their own bags.
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The City of Myrtle Beach is offering free sand off Oak Street near the intersection of Myrtle Joe White Avenue. Residents are asked to bring their own bags.

More than $1 trillion in homes are in the path of powerful category 4 Hurricane Florence.

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More than 3.5 million homes in coastal counties — a designation defined by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) — in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia that total more than $1 trillion in value are at risk of damage from the storm, according to a study by real estate website Zillow.

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By state, according to a news release from Zillow:

▪ “Virginia: 1.8 million homes worth $658 billion

North Carolina: 898,000 homes worth $168 billion

South Carolina: 882,000 homes worth $205 billion”

“The damage from Hurricane Florence is likely to be widespread as it bears down on the Atlantic coast,” Zillow senior economist Aaron Terrazas said in the release. “In the coastal counties of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia — the states most directly in Florence’s path – as many as 3.6 million homes are at risk, worth just over $1 trillion altogether. Beyond the homes that may be lost, damage to the infrastructure – roads, utilities and emergency services, for example – will add to the burden for these coastal communities.”

Coastal counties, of which there are 672 in the United States and 285 on the Atlantic, are counties that meet two criteria, according to NOAA:

“1. At least 15 percent of a county’s total land area is located within the nation’s coastalwatershed;

2. A portion of or an entire county accounts for at least 15 percent of a coastal cataloging unit (a drainage basin that falls within an estuarine or coastal drainage area).”

In North Carolina, those counties are: Anson, Beaufort, Bertie, Bladen, Brunswick, Camden, Carteret, Chowan, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Currituck, Dare, Duplin, Edgecombe, Gates, Halifax, Hertford, Hyde, Jones, Lenoir, Martin, New Hanover, Northampton, Onslow, Pamlico, Pasquotanik, Pender, Perquimans, Pitt, Richmond, Sampson, Scotland, Tyrrell, Washinton, Wayne and Wilson.

In South Carolina: Allendale, Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Chesterfield, Clarendon, Colleton, Darlington, Dillon, Dorchester, Florence, Georgetown, Hampton, Horry, Jasper, Kershaw, Lancaster, Lee, Marion, Marlboro, Sumter and Williamsburg.

Bloomberg’s wrote on Tuesday that Hurricane Florence could be one of the most expensive hurricanes to ever hit the United States.

Florence “could cause as much as $27 billion in damages, making it the ninth most-expensive storm to hit the U.S.,” Efstathiou wrote for Bloomberg.

The current top 10 are, in order from most expensive: Katrina, Harvey, Maria, Sandy, Irma, Andrew, Ike, Ivan, Wilma and Rita.

Florence could become No. 9, according to Bloomberg.

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Follow more of our reporting on Hurricane Florence

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