Harvey Could Be Costliest Natural Disaster in US History
As Houston and nearby regions in Texas continue to battle storm conditions and severe flooding, AccuWeather is predicting Hurricane Harvey could be the most costly natural disaster in US history.
Dr. Joel N. Myers, founder, president and chairman of AccuWeather, says, “This will be the worst natural disaster in American history. The economy’s impact, by the time its total destruction is completed, will approach $160 billion, which is similar to the combined effect of Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy. This represents a negative impact on the economy of 8/10 of one percent of the gross national product or GDP. The GDP is $19 trillion currently. Business leaders and the Federal Reserve, major banks, insurance companies, etc. should begin to factor in the negative impact this catastrophe will have on business, corporate earnings and employment. The disaster is just beginning in certain areas. Parts of Houston, the United States’ fourth largest city will be uninhabitable for weeks and possibly months due to water damage, mold, disease-ridden water and all that will follow this 1,000-year flood.”
The worst flooding from Harvey is yet to come as rivers and bayous continue to rise in Texas with additional levees at risk for breaches and failures.
“The meteorologist forecasting community as a whole did a very good job in warning people about this storm. Public officials were slow, in some cases, to react or to know what to do, which affected too many people and caused the loss of property and damage and destruction. This was unfortunate because when a natural disaster threatens, minutes and hours count and preparation and risk avoidance is imperative. While AccuWeather forecasts were a few hours ahead of the competition in alerting people and companies to the severity of the impacts that were coming. The entire meteorological community did a first rate job, and it’s frustrating that some entities were slow to take action. We are gratified that many people told us because of AccuWeather forecasts they did get to safety and out of harm’s way and many businesses we serve reported they took immediate action to minimize losses,” Myers added.
“AccuWeather cautions that the negative impact from the storms are far from over. There will be more flooding, damage, fatalities and injuries,” Myers said. “We urge all citizens near the path of Hurricane Harvey to remain vigilant and be prepared to take immediate action if flood waters rise.”