A home is surrounded by floodwater after torrential rains pounded Southeast Texas following Hurricane and Tropical Storm Harvey on August 31, 2017 near Sugar Land, Texas.
Zillow found that 39 percent of homes expected to be underwater by the year 2100 are in the most valuable category. The rest are around the median price, about $220,000, or below. One-quarter are among the least valuable homes. Exacerbating the issue is that owners of lower-priced homes likely don’t have the resources to take preventative measures against the rising tides, like putting in sea walls or making changes to foundations to withstand intermittent flooding.
“We’ve seen the enormous impact flooding can have on a city and its residents,” said Gudell. “It’s harder for us to think about it on a long-term timeline, but the real risks that come with rising sea levels should not be ignored until it’s too late to address them.”
The parade of hurricanes this year either damaged or destroyed thousands of homes in Houston, Florida and Georgia. What came as a shock to so many was that it wasn’t all coastal damage. Hurricane Harvey managed to submerge homes that were a long drive from the Texas coast. Rivers and reservoirs were the culprit, after storm surges from the rising ocean and relentless rain filled them beyond capacity.
The majority of homes at risk of flooding, 65 percent according to Zillow, are in suburban areas, like those flooded in Houston. Just under 23 percent are in urban locations, and just 12 percent are in rural areas.
Of the nation’s largest cities, Miami, New York, Boston, Tampa and Fort Myers, Florida, have the highest volume of homes at risk of flooding. Los Angeles, Charleston, South Carolina, Houston and New Orleans are also in the top 20 markets at risk.