Wind and Water

Hurricane Harvey has ploughed into the Texan coast, leaving a path of devastation centred on Houston. Whilst hoping that the comparison is irrelevant, Katrina caused over 2,000 deaths and required over $70bn of emergency relief funding. The principal damage caused by Harvey is through flooding. Whilst our weather in the UK rarely receives praise, we should perhaps be thankful that it is rather insipid. Nevertheless, 1 in 6 properties in the UK are estimated to be at risk from flooding, with the figure rising due to more extreme weather. The UK flood map predictably shows large swathes of low lying land around the Wash, East Yorks and Somerset as being at high risk, but these areas tend to be sparsely populated. The larger asset risks come in major cities, notably London. However, despite the provision of better information, research shows that memories are short, and the impact on values and insurance availability due to flooding tends to be short-lived.