Publications

- May 1, 2019: Vol. 31, Number 5

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The megastorm era: Why the real estate industry is dragging its heels on pricing weather risk, and what can be done about it

by Alex Frew McMillan

At one point this past September, the heavens became hell on earth. Hurricane Florence (pictured) roared ashore in the Carolinas with an unprecedented storm surge of 13 feet, then stalled, drenching the Eastern Seaboard of the United States with record, catastrophic rain of almost 3 feet.

At the same time, on the other side of the world, Super Typhoon Mangkhut hit Hong Kong with the greatest force on record, a banshee scream with gusts of 155 miles per hour, with 60,000 felled trees reported. Storms Barijat, Olivia, Isaac, Helene and Joyce joined the tropical-cyclone party, too, at the same time. The seven major storms developed separately, causing havoc for the Leizhou Peninsula in Guangdong, China; Hawaii; the Antilles in the Caribbean; and anyone stuck out in the north Atlantic.

Climate change is hard to track and prove precisely. The past five years have been the hottest in history. Warmer temperatures mean higher sea levels, threatening coastal property and flood-

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