Boston not immune from growing hurricane wind problem
The number of Boston buildings vulnerable to hurricane-caused wind damage could rise by 22% over the next 30 years, new research finds.
- 84,700 buildings could be vulnerable by 2053, compared to 69,500 today.
That's based on research from the nonprofit First Street Foundation, using peer-reviewed computer modeling of the intensity and tracks of more than 50,000 simulated tropical cyclones in a warming climate.
- The researchers made projections for a 1-in-3,000-year storm, meaning such an event has a 0.0333% chance of hitting in any given year — a standard commonly used in setting building codes.
Why it matters: How hurricane-related wind damage risks are priced into insurance policies and whether they are disclosed to prospective home buyers has major implications for the real estate and insurance industries, writes Axios' Andrew Freedman.
- Increasingly powerful storms have ravaged the New England coast and costs are mounting for maintaining homes along the ocean or in flood-prone areas.
Zoom in: Two Massachusetts counties are expected to face some of the highest increases in the country in economic losses due to hurricane winds over 30 years.
- Essex County is expected to see a 77% increase from an annual loss of about $1.9 million in 2023 to $3.4 million in 2053.
- Plymouth County is expected to see a 69% increase from a loss of $5.2 million in 2023 to $8.8 million during that time.
By the numbers: The researchers found that more than 13.4 million properties nationwide will be exposed to tropical storm force or greater wind risk in 30 years that are not currently.
- Property level damage estimates from hurricane winds are likely to rise from an annual loss of about $18.5 billion in 2023 to $19.9 billion in 2053.
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