Hurricane Harvey: Damages and Costs!
Hurricane Harvey 2017 stands as the most damaging hurricane in the history of the United States alongside hurricane Katrina. As the costliest hurricane to ever hit the country, the total damages inflicted amount to $125 billion which are primarily caused due to flooding caused by excessive rainfall in the regions of Houston Metropolitan Area and southeast Texas. Hurricane Harvey was the first major hurricane to come into the landmass of the United States after hurricane Wilma in 2005.
The damage caused by hurricane Harvey was catastrophic, and it left almost all the residents of Barbados without any electricity. In the state of Texas alone the hurricane Harvey leveled around 300,000 structures and 500,000 vehicles. The total damages as calculated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration were at $125 billion with a 90% confidence interval of $90-160 billion. There is uncertainty in the total damages caused by flooding in areas with National Flood Insurance Program. Throughout the country, around 107 residents lost their lives because of the hurricane and storm-related incidents.
Hurricane Harvey was a category 4 hurricane that inflicted unimaginable damage across the Aransas County. Wind speeds of 132 mph were recorded near the Port of Aransas. Almost every structure at the port suffered damage and in Rockport, entire blocks were simply eliminated by the hurricane and its windfalls. The courthouse of the city sustained major damage along with public schools and gymnasium.
Damages of the Hurricane Harvey Huston
In the state of Texas, around 336,000 residents were left stranded without electricity and tens of thousands were left homeless and required the assistance of rescue teams. In Texas around 103 residents lost their lives to the storm, 68 were killed in related effects such as flooding and another died during the aftermath of the hurricane. As of 2017, 30,000 were displaced by the catastrophe and 13,000 residents had to be rescued.
The total capacity of the refinery industry was significantly reduced due to the hurricane and oil and gas production in inland Texas and Gulf of Mexico was badly affected. Subsequently, gas stations throughout the state were forced to shut-down and the refining capacity reduced by more than 20%. Around 49,000 homes were affected by Harvey out of which 1000 were completely decimated by the hurricane. 17,000 homes sustained major damages and around 32,000 suffered from minor ones. 700 businesses throughout the state of Texas were damaged as well in the storm.
Houston witnessed the worst of the flooding with way over 760 mm in precipitation with maximum precipitation of 1,539mm near Nederland. This has surpassed the previous rainfall record set by the tropical storm Amelia. The region was struck by multiple flash floods and multiple emergencies were issued throughout the region.
Estimate of Losses
The Moody's Analytics initially calculated a loss of around $81 billion to $108 billion and above. The majority of economic losses were damages caused to homes and commercial properties. The Insurance Council of Texas in September 2017 gave out insurances totaling $19 billion in the wake of the hurricane. The total amount represents about $11 billion in losses due to flooding which was insured by the National Flood Insurance Program, $3 billion amounted to insurance for property loss due to windstorm and $4.75 billion were given out to provide insurance from loss of private property and vehicles owned by residents. By the January of 2018, the payouts by the National Flood Insurance Program had climbed up to $7.6 billion with an estimated total loss of $8.5-9.5 billion. The damage to the Houston metropolitan area alone was calculated to be $198.63 billion as calculated by the Ball State University.