Situs Newswatch: Flood damage in Texas from Hurricane Harvey may equal that resulting from 2005’s Hurricane Katrina

Flood damage in Texas from Hurricane Harvey may equal that resulting from 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

“Houston, the coastal area and a wide swath of inland Texas have been hammered by this storm that doesn’t seem to let up,” says Situs Chief Executive Officer Steve Powel. “The level of property damage to commercial, industrial and residential real estate is unprecedented to anything I have experienced, in almost three decades of residence in Houston. Of significant concern is the fact that so many residences and businesses don’t have flood insurance, because they are located outside of the federally designated flood zone areas. One colleague said today, this is like the ‘800-year flood!’ No doubt property and casualty insurers will have their hands full, but the federal government is likely to bear a significant monetary burden of the underinsured, and the significant investments that will be required to address the city’s necessary infrastructure improvements.”

Powel adds, “Based on past experiences from major storms in the U.S. and Caribbean, aside from the hardships experienced by so many families, the rebuilding effort will no doubt be a stimulus to the Houston economy, which has been challenged by the adverse impact of the depressed energy sector over the past two years. While no one would suggest that the storm was a good thing, rebuilding the fourth largest city in the U.S. will present future opportunities.”

The storm settled over Houston creating flooding of “historic proportions” in the nation’s fourth largest city, according to the National Weather Service. The images emerging from the area are horrifying and with up to 50 inches of rain forecast, the storm conditions continue.

FEMA Administrator Brock Long, who expects 450,000-plus people to apply for federal assistance says, “The state of Texas is about to undergo one of the largest recovery housing missions the nation has ever seen.”

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