With Hurricane Andrew's 25th anniversary right around the corner, a new analysis says that Miami's vulnerability to experience another Category 5 hurricane is exponentially high.
Andrew's landfall in Florida on Aug. 24, 1992, was the most expensive natural disaster in U.S. history at the time.
The hurricane reached wind speeds of 165 mph and caused more than $26 billion in damage in the state's most-populous areas, including $15.5 billion in insurance payouts.
The reinsurance company Swiss Re released a report Wednesday estimating $80 billion to $100 billion in overall losses if a hurricane similar to Andrew were to follow the same track today.
Since Andrew, Miami-Dade has seen a population increase of more than 35 percent and huge growth in property values and asset concentration. If a storm of the same caliber were to make landfall on the Magic City in 2017, Swiss Re estimates losses up to $300 billion.
Andrew caused relatively minor storm surge, but Swiss Re says rising sea levels would exacerbate that flooding.
Atmospheric Perils Specialist and co-author of Swiss Re's analysis, Marla Schwartz, notes "The question isn’t if a storm like Andrew will strike Florida again, but when."