February 20, 2018
by Jim Jarrett
Hurricane Harvey was a Category 4 storm that hit Texas on August 25, 2017. It caused $125 billion in damage according to the National Hurricane Center. That’s more than any other natural disaster in U.S history except Hurricane Katrina. Texas Governor Greg Abbott needed more than $125 billion in federal relief. It affected 13 million people from Texas through Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Kentucky.
As of October 13, 2017, at least 88 people died from the storm.
Harvey made landfall three times in six days. At its peak on September 1, 2017, one-third of Houston was underwater. Two feet of rain fell in the first 24 hours. Flooding forced 39,000 people out of their homes and into shelters. Dallas created a mega-shelter for 5,000 evacuees out of its main convention center. (Source: “Texas Faces Environmental Concerns as Wastewater, Drinking Water Systems Compromised,” The Washington Post, September 3, 2017. “Dallas Preps Mega-Shelter as Texas Braces for More Rain,” CNN, August 29, 2017. “Hurricane Harvey: Storm Roars Ashore Near Corpus Christi, Texas,” The New York Times, August 26, 2017.)
Harvey is expected to have a considerable economic impact. The Houston metro area is the nation’s fourth-largest city with 6.6 million residents. If it were a country, it would be the world’s 23rd largest economy, larger than Poland or Sweden.