Counting Counties: Where ‘Huracan’ Blows

It is said that the ancient Mayans believed the earth was “thought into existence” by a supreme god named Huracan. Nicknamed `Heart of the Sky,’ he first created a world enveloped in oceans and then blew great winds across those waters to expose the land.

Today his namesake hurricanes, or typhoons, are tropical cyclones that the National Hurricane Center defines as reaching a “maximum sustained surface wind of 74 mph or more.”

Huracan’s winds blow hardest from June to November, Hurricane Season along the Atlantic, and have been responsible for some of history’s costliest natural disasters: Katrina in 2005 with over $105 billion in damage; Andrew in 1992 at more than $45 billion; and Ike, in 2008, $27 billion.

While work continues to improve the science of predicting the path and strength of hurricanes, what scientists are doing with data on past hurricanes has proven invaluable.

A new RealtyTrac report identifies the U.S counties with the highest occurrence of hurricanes. Based on annual averages gathered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) from 2001 to 2013. A hurricane risk score was determined based on a scale of 0 to 456,668.5. Anything over 150,000 was considered very high risk, with scores between 100,000-150,000 being high risk, 10,000-100,000 medium risk, 100-10,000 low risk, and below 100 very low risk.

The 15 most hurricane-prone counties, all scoring with very high risk, are listed here. For the complete report, or answers to any questions on this or our many other datasets, please contact our PR Department directly at


Rank County Name State Population Hurricane Risk Scale
1  Craven North Carolina 102,904                           431,793
2 New Hanover North Carolina 203,276                           429,288
3 Onslow North Carolina 176,461                           429,073
4 Brunswick North Carolina 107,925                           421,515
5 Martin Florida 146,497                           405,869
6 Horry South Carolina 270,943                           404,843
7 Charleston South Carolina 352,548                           403,335
8 Pitt    North Carolina 167,951                           401,844
9 St. Lucie Florida 278,246                           398,429
10 Berkeley South Carolina 179,773                           388,299
11 Virginia Beach City Virginia 439,528                           386,115
12 Indian River Florida 138,203                           385,904
13 Chesapeake City Virginia 223,233                           383,880
14 Wayne   North Carolina 122,419                           381,123
15 Palm Beach Florida 1,324,085                           379,065


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