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Report: Midlands counties at ‘very high risk’ for natural disasters

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By Ashley Heffernan
aheffernan@scbiznews.com
Published Sept. 3, 2015

Lexington and Richland counties were each classified by RealtyTrac as being at very high risk for hurricanes and wildfires, but low risk for earthquakes and tornadoes.

The risk for flooding in the Midlands counties was moderate, according to RealtyTrac.

The housing data company analyzed hurricane, wildfire, flood, earthquake and tornado data from 2,318 counties nationwide. The report found 35.8 million U.S. single-family homes and condos, with a combined market value of $6.6 trillion, are located in high or very high natural hazard risk areas.

Previous coverage:

· Businesses urged to avoid complacency in disaster

· Lowcountry rated at ‘very high risk’ for natural disasters, RealtyTrac says

· Ice storm impacts S.C. timber industry

“In the interest of personal safety and protecting the value of what is likely their biggest financial asset, prospective buyers and investors should be aware of any natural disaster risk impacting a potential home purchase,” RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist said in a statement. “There is no reason homebuyers need to be surprised with natural disaster risk information when wading through a stack of disclosures at the closing table, given the widespread availability of this data online and even through mobile apps.”

RealtyTrac used the following data to determine risks:

· Hurricane: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s hurricane activity data from 2001 to 2013.

· Wildfire: A wildfire disaster potential program developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service and Fire Modeling Institute.

· Flood: Zones defined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, based on the percentage of single-family homes in a flood zone.

· Earthquake: A predictive earthquake risk model created by the U.S. Geological Survey that calculates the probability of a 5.0 magnitude earthquake occurring within a 30-mile radius over the next 50 years.

· Tornado: NOAA’s Destruction Potential Index based on the number, path area in square miles and intensity of tornadoes.

“In most cases learning about natural disaster risk will not stop a home sale, but it will help buyers make a better-informed decision about where to buy and also be prepared in terms of appropriate insurance coverage and family contingency plans depending on the type of natural disaster risks most affecting the home they end up purchasing,” Blomquist said in a statement.

Natural disaster housing risk for S.C. counties

 

County

Aiken

Allendale

Anderson

Bamberg

Barnwell

Beaufort

Berkeley

Calhoun

Charleston

Cherokee

Chester

Chesterfield

Clarendon

Colleton

Darlington

Dillon

Dorchester

Edgefield

Fairfield

Florence

Georgetown

Greenville

Greenwood

Hampton

Horry

Jasper

Kershaw

Lancaster

Laurens

Lee

Lexington

Marion

McCormick

Newberry

Oconee

Orangeburg

Pickens

Richland

Saluda

Spartanburg

Sumter

Union

Williamsburg

York

Total risk

Very High

High

High

Very High

Very High

Very High

Very High

Very High

Very High

High

High

High

Very High

Very High

Very High

Very High

Very High

Very High

Very High

Very High

Very High

Moderate

High

High

Very High

High

Very High

Very High

High

Very High

Very High

Very High

Moderate

Very High

Moderate

Very High

Moderate

Very High

Very High

High

Very High

High

Very High

High

Hurricane

Very High

Very High

High

Very High

Very High

Very High

Very High

Very High

Very High

High

High

Very High

Very High

Very High

Very High

Very High

Very High

Very High

Very High

Very High

Very High

Moderate

High

Very High

Very High

Very High

Very High

Very High

High

Very High

Very High

Very High

High

Very High

Moderate

Very High

Moderate

Very High

Very High

High

Very High

High

Very High

High

Wildfire

Very High

Very Low

Low

Very High

Very High

Very High

Very High

Very High

High

Moderate

Low

Very Low

Very High

Very High

High

Very High

High

Very High

Moderate

High

Very High

Low

Moderate

Very Low

High

Very Low

Very High

High

Low

Very High

Very High

High

Very Low

Moderate

Moderate

Very High

Moderate

High

Moderate

Low

High

Very Low

High

Moderate

Flood

Low

Very Low

Low

Low

Moderate

Very Low

High

Low

Very Low

Low

Moderate

Very Low

Moderate

Low

Moderate

Moderate

Low

Low

High

Moderate

Low

Low

Low

Low

Low

Very Low

Moderate

Low

Moderate

Moderate

Moderate

Moderate

Low

Moderate

Low

Moderate

Low

Moderate

Moderate

Low

Moderate

High

Very High

Low

Earthquake

Low

Low

Low

Low

Low

Low

Moderate

Low

Moderate

Low

Low

Low

Moderate

Moderate

Low

Low

Moderate

Low

Low

Low

Low

Low

Low

Low

Low

Low

Low

Low

Low

Low

Low

Low

Low

Low

Low

Moderate

Low

Low

Low

Low

Low

Low

Moderate

Low

Tornado

Low

Low

Low

Low

Low

Very Low

Very Low

Low

Very Low

Low

Low

Low

Very Low

Very Low

Moderate

High

Low

Moderate

Moderate

Very Low

Very Low

Low

Moderate

Very Low

Very Low

Very Low

Low

Low

Low

Low

Low

Very Low

Low

Moderate

Moderate

Low

Low

Low

Moderate

Low

Low

Low

Very Low

Low

Source: RealtyTrac

Reach staff writer Ashley Heffernan at 843-849-3144 or @AshleyBHeff on Twitter.

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