As opposed to most other vulnerability studies, this one considers property damages from a storm surge associated with a 100-year hurricane.
The 100-year hurricane is an event for which there is a 1 percent chance of occurrence each year. Tampa’s 100-year hurricane is defined as a strong category 4 with top winds of 150 mph. Damages from the storm surge associated with such a hurricane would reach up to $175 billion.
Losses in the region are predicted to be higher than those in New Orleans ($130 billion), New York City ($100 billion) and Miami ($80 billion).
Sarasota ranks as the seventh-most vulnerable city with projected losses of $50 million.
The large, shallow continental shelf off the coast of west Florida combined with the funnel effect of water surging into the bay could lead to a massive amount of property damage in the surrounding areas, the study shows. The study also states that the majority of the potential flood damage is not currently insured.