Hurricanes Harvey and Irma: impact and cost

Two disastrous hurricanes have struck the southern US in recent weeks, causing damage to many homes and properties and leaving about 30,000 people in public shelters. The first to strike was Hurricane Harvey, which caused an estimated $180 billion in damages across Texas, while its counterpart, Hurricane Irma, tore across Florida and the east coast, causing an estimated $150 billion in damages. 

Harvey struck Texas on August 25th and its presence was felt until September 3rd. In that timespan, it affected a total of 13 million US citizens, destroyed about 205,000 homes and unfortunately killed more than 70 people. Throughout the entire state of Texas, more than 300,000 families were left without electricity, making it hard to communicate who needed rescued from the floodwaters and instructions for proper evacuation procedures. Houston, Texas, the US’s 4th largest city, was greatly affected by Harvey and the floodwaters that ensued because of it. In Houston the least affected area received 30 inches of precipitation, which is basically a kiddy pool of at least 2.5 feet in depth across an entire state. The Category 4 hurricane was the first major hurricane of 2017 Atlantic hurricane season.   

Irma hit Florida and the east coast of the US on September 10th and remained a hurricane until September 13th, when it was downgraded to extra tropical. The storm left the majority of Florida’s population, 20.6 million people, without power for days. In total, 31 people have been killed by the effects of Hurricane Irma in the United States, and 38 more people in the countries affected in the Caribbean. At the storm’s peak it was deemed a Category 5 hurricane, the highest on the rating scale for hurricanes. A category 5 Hurricane has wind speeds more than 157 mph and will unfortunately damage many homes, leaving some  places ruined and uninhabitable until relief efforts arrive to help. Irma has been widely discussed by many as the storm to produce the most debris and the hardest storm to clean up from. Following Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma was the second major hurricane of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season.  

Both hurricanes have left states in a state of disaster, and will be recovering for months or years to come. At this point in time, two more hurricanes are in the US’s worries, Hurricane Jose, which is currently going on, and Hurricane Maria, which is forming in the Atlantic and is currently a Category 5 hurricane.  Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have caused over $330 billion in damages combined to the US alone. Many people across the US have been affected, some losing everything. To help relief efforts organized by Houston Texans football player, JJ Watt, click to following link.