Uninsured Hurricane Harvey Victims Face Billions in Damages
Over the past week, Hurricane Harvey has caused costly damage across south Texas. Over 30,000 south Texas residents are already expected to be displaced as the storm continues to pummel the Gulf Coast including Louisiana. Relief efforts are currently underway and Texas has mobilized its entire National Guard.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) declared 33 counties disaster areas as of Wednesday. According to CoreLogic, 52% of residential and commercial properties in the greater Houston area are at high or moderate risk of flooding, but are outside of the Special Flood Hazard Area designated by FEMA. The Consumer Federation of America estimates the hurricane will cause at least $75 billion in flood damage. Robert Hunter, director of insurance for the Consumer Federation of America, said only about 20% of homeowners affected by Harvey have insurance coverage.
While the federal and state governments provide immediate assistance, hurricane cleanup is expected to continue through the rest of the year. Red Cross president, Brad Kieserman, predicted, “we are going to be dealing with this all the way through Christmas.”
Many displaced Houston residents may not return immediately, or ever, to their flood-damaged hometown. In 2005, the greater New Orleans area lost 380,000 residents. Hurricane victims are seeking shelter in neighboring cities like San Antonio, Austin, and the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The Kroll Bond Rating Agency projects a total outstanding collateral balance of $635 billion in damages.
If you would like to donate to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, please visit the American Red Cross.
Sources: Chicago Tribune, HousingWire