Tropical Storm Barry puts 340K properties at risk from flash flooding

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Damage related to flash flooding from Tropical Storm Barry has the potential to affect 339,480 homes, according to CoreLogic's latest analysis. Reports estimate a worst-case total of $10 billion in reconstruction cost value.

The mortgage delinquency rate plummeted to 20-year lows and properties in default fell to the lowest rate since 2005. However, with the recent earthquakes in California and Barry's descent on the Gulf Coast, distressed mortgages could rise in the near future because of these natural disasters.

"Safety is our top priority for those in Louisiana and nearby states as Barry approaches," Yvette Gilmore, Freddie Mac's vice president of single-family servicer performance management, said in a press release issued before the storm made landfall. "Once safe from this dangerous storm, we strongly encourage homeowners whose homes or places of employment have been impacted by the storm to call their mortgage servicer — the company to which borrowers send their monthly mortgage payments — to learn about available relief options. We stand ready to ensure that mortgage relief is made available."

New Orleans has the most at-risk properties to flash flooding with 192,613. Baton Rouge with 40,389 and Lafayette with 29,393 properties follow.

Barry made landfall on Saturday in Louisiana. The storm, downgraded to a tropical depression, was located 145 miles south of Springfield, Mo., and 70 miles west of Little Rock, Ark., at 10 a.m. Central Daylight Time on Monday, as it makes its way north and then northeasterly, according to the National Weather Service. There is the potential for additional flooding as Barry passes through.

"We want to reassure those in the path of Tropical Storm Barry that we're committed to their well-being and recovery, particularly as the storm is expected to strengthen before it makes landfall," Malloy Evans, senior vice president and single-family chief credit officer at Fannie Mae, said in a press release also issued before the storm reached the coastline.

"Along with our partners, we are focused on ensuring assistance is offered to homeowners and renters in need. We urge everyone in the area to be safe, and we encourage residents whose homes, employment, or income are affected by the storm to seek available assistance as soon as possible."

The devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 caused over 1,800 deaths and an estimated $151 billion in destruction. In 2018, a total of 14 natural disasters caused $91 billion of damages, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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