Natural risk higher in tornado-prone than hurricane-prone counties

sjones@thesunnews.comJune 20, 2014 

It may surprise the locals, but a home in Horry County is less prone to being devastated by a natural disaster than one in Richland County.

RealtyTrac, which compiles and analyzes real estate statistics nationwide, reported that Horry County had a natural disaster housing risk of 40 while in Richland County (Columbia), it is 50, the same as Charleston County.

RealtyTrac ranked more than 3,000 counties nationwide and placed those with a score of 50 to 75 in the very high risk category and those with a 40 to 45 score in the high risk. There were also medium and low risk counties, but they were generally in the West and upper Midwest.

The entire East Coast, from the southern tip of Florida to the northern tip of Maine was at least high risk, according to the rankings. The very high risk counties were clumped along the tornado belt from northern Louisiana to the eastern edge of North Carolina’s Piedmont.

Surprisingly perhaps for us lowlanders, Spartanburg County was among the counties listed at very high risk.

RealtyTrac ranked the counties for their risk of danger from hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes.

It was clear from the map, the earthquakes don’t pose nearly the risk of hurricanes or tornadoes.

The biggest percentage of counties and housing units joined Horry in the high risk category, RealtyTrac reported. The list included 1,118 counties and 61 million housing units, 47 percent the U.S. total.

The very high risk categroy encompassed just 373 counties and 10.6 million housing units.

Contact STEVE JONES at 444-1765 or on Twitter @TSN_sjones.

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