Land Use Factors Affecting Economic Damages From Tropical Cyclones On The US Gulf and Atlantic Coasts
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This paper assesses the economic damages from 94 tropical cyclones between 1992 and 2012 along the US Gulf and Atlantic coasts. I used the Geographical Information System ArcGIS to buffer the digital track of each storm into 200 km wide swaths and extract data on the storm intensity, coverage of various land cover types, and nighttime light emissions. I built a double log model in which the ratio of economic damages to an estimated gross state product was regressed on maximum sustained winds, rainfall per hour, physical exposure and on wetlands. I also included a dummy variable that equals one when maximum sustained winds are less than 119km/hr and zero otherwise. I found that the wind speed of a tropical cyclone increases damages on average to the 6th power and that rainfall per hour significantly increases damages for hurricanes.