With Hurricane Michael swirling toward the Gulf Coast, property valued in excess of $ 13.4 billion is at risk of storm damage, according to an analysis by CoreLogic released Tuesday.
The property analytics provider found that over 57,000 homes are in the path of the storm, which is scheduled to hit Florida by Wednesday afternoon. Currently a Category 2 storm, weather forecasters predict Hurricane Michael will reach Category 3 status by landfall and bring with it torrential rains and winds of more than 110 miles per hour.
“Hurricane-driven storm surge can cause significant property damage when high winds and low pressure cause water to amass inside the storm, releasing a powerful rush over land when the hurricane moves onshore,” the report reads.
Located at the tip of the Florida Gulf, the Crestview-Fort Walton metropolitan area bears the highest risk of storm-related property damage; thousands of homes in Florida’s Panama City and Tallahassee are also at risk.
While Hurricane Michael is not likely to have the scope of last month’s Hurricane Florence or last year’s Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, it still poses significant risk to homeowners. Experts advise those who are in the storm’s path to have an evacuation plan, close storm shutters to prevent broken glass from flying inside, unplug big electronic appliances such as fridges and televisions and keep phones charged in case of power outages.