The Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), a not-for-profit applied research group supported by property insurers, issued a study of property damage from last September’s strike of Hurricane Ike near Galveston, Texas. It concludes that significantly more Gulf Coast homes and businesses are at risk of disastrous flooding from such storm surges than previously recognized.
The federal National Flood Insurance Program’s base flood-elevation requirement for homes on the area ranged from 13 ft for homes built in the 1970s and 17 ft to 19 ft for homes built beginning in 1983. All but a handful of properties are within the first few rows of houses from the coast, built to even the highest elevation requirements, were washed away during the storm. By contrast, the study found that 10 homes on the peninsula designed and built to IBHS’s building code-plus new construction program standard survived the storm with minor damage.