Hundreds of thousands of Houston homes at risk from upcoming hurricane season, climate change could pose more long-term challenges

More than one-third of Harris County falls within FEMA-designated floodplains, and that number is expected to rise, Houston Chronicle Reportciting a study by market analyst firm CoreLogic.

The study found that more than 5,000 homes in Harris County were at risk of storm surge damage and more than 327,000 were at risk from hurricane-force winds. The greater Houston area has the second-highest number of homes at risk in the nation, behind only the New York metro area.

In Texas, hurricanes and storm surges typically occur in coastal cities such as Galveston. But Tom Larson, senior director at CoreLogic Insurance Solutions, said climate change and other factors could lead to an increase in such incidents in the interior.

“Because rising tides — one of the key aspects of climate change — coincide with some changes in the hurricanes themselves. We’re going to see more coastal flooding and surge effects,” Larson told the outlet.

CoreLogic estimates that the number of homes at risk of storm surge in Harris County will explode by 50% by 2050. It also expects a 40 per cent increase in at-risk homes in surrounding cities. Climate change is expected to lead to rising sea levels, more intense storms and higher atmospheric temperatures, the media said.

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The study, which considered single-family and multi-family homes, found more than 33 million homes in the U.S. were at risk of damage from hurricanes with winds exceeding 74 mph

This year, weather experts are predicting a relatively inactive hurricane season.

— Quinn Donoghue

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