The following is an excerpt from MEGHAN BARTELS | August 30, 2017 | Newsweek.com |
The rain has finally stopped in Texas as Houston-area residents start to reckon with the aftermath of the record-breaking storm. It’s too early to begin calculating the loss and damage Harvey has caused, but cost estimates are already hitting tens of billions of dollars. According to the latest reports, 30 people have died.
It may well feel like a phenomenon on a whole new scale, particularly given climate scientists’ predictions that storms will intensify as the planet continues to warm.
Looking at the financial costs of hurricanes hitting the United States, that seems very true. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s most recent data on the 30 costliest cyclones, last updated in 2013, is topped by nine tropical storms (and Sandy, which was no longer a cyclone when it made landfall). The oldest storm is Hurricane Hugo, which hit South Carolina in 1989. Only one other storm from the 1900s makes the list.
Katrina, Sandy and Andrew were the most expensive, responsible for $128 billion, $72 billion and $43 billion in damages, respectively. The most expensive storm to hit Texas to date, Ike in 2008, caused $31 billion in damage.
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