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Hurricane Sandy Storm-Surge Risk Estimated at $88B

Data from ""CoreLogic"":http://www.corelogic.com/ shows nearly 284,000 properties (representing almost $88 billion) located in the coastal Mid-Atlantic states may be at risk of storm-surge damage from Hurricane Sandy.

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Based on early projections of Sandy's path, eight major metro areas in the Mid-Atlantic region--including New York, Philadelphia, and Boston--are at risk. More than 238,000 total properties valued at nearly $75 billion stand at risk in those cities alone, CoreLogic says.

CoreLogic explained that storm surges occur when water gathers inside a cyclonic storm--a hurricane, for example--and is pushed along the front of the storm by high winds. Because storm-surge inundation is classified as a separate hazard from typical fresh-water flooding, many homeowners located outside of designated flood hazard zones don't realize they're at risk of storm-surge damage, CoreLogic says. Historically, these homeowners refrain from buying flood insurance.

To make matters worse, there is little that can be done to prevent or lessen storm-surge damage.

""Wind damage to structures from hurricanes can be greatly reduced through homeowner mitigation efforts, and enhancements can be made to building codes in hurricane wind-prone areas. But on the contrary, mitigation efforts can often be almost useless against the impact of storm surge,"" the company said in its ""2012 Storm Surge report"":http://www.corelogic.com/about-us/researchtrends/asset_upload_file227_15276.pdf.

Going beyond Sandy's impact, total storm surge risk in the United States stands at more than four million properties, with more than a quarter of that total classified in the ""Extreme"" risk category. Those properties most at risk are valued at more than $222 billion, according to CoreLogic's estimated property values.

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