U.S. areas most vulnerable to hurricanes

In 2006, the International Hurricane Research Center, Miami, released a list of the 10 U.S. mainland areas most vulnerable to hurricanes.

Criteria used to evaluate vulnerability included hurricane frequency and storm intensity; levee/dike failure; storm surge and freshwater flooding potential; coastal erosion trends; island breaching history; populations at risk; evacuation distance and routes; and local/state capabilities to respond to the effects of major hurricanes.

New Orleans topped the list, which was not surprising in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and four of the 10 most vulnerable areas were in Florida because of its shoreline along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.

Following are the rankings:

  1. New Orleans
  2. Lake Okeechobee, Fla.
  3. Florida Keys
  4. Coastal Mississippi
  5. Miami/Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
  6. Galveston/Houston, Texas
  7. Cape Hatteras, N.C.
  8. Eastern Long Island, New York
  9. Wilmington, N.C.
  10. Tampa/St. Petersburg, Fla.

This Web exclusive information is a supplement to The Wall of Wind.