Hurricane Harvey caused $125 billion in damages, 68 deaths

by Eric Pearson

Hurricane Harvey killed at least 68 Texas residents and caused about $125 billion in damages, according to a report released last month by the National Hurricane Center (NHC). The storm was the second costliest storm in U.S. history – trailing only Hurricane Katrina in 2005 – and caused the most deaths from a tropical cyclone in Texas since 1919.

Harvey struck Texas in August 2017, dumping at least 60 inches of rain on some parts of the state. Home and business owners suffered billions in property damage caused by flooding, as well as other damage due to high winds and other effects of the storm.

Estimates for the damage caused by Harvey from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) ranged from $90 billion to $160 billion. The median estimate for the damages, $125 billion, tied the $125 billion in damages caused by Hurricane Katrina, making it the second-costliest storm in U.S. history when adjusted for inflation.

According to the NHC report, Harvey flooded at least 160,000 homes, businesses, and other structures in the Houston and Galveston areas. About 110,000 homes and other properties outside the Houston area in Jefferson, Orange, Hardin, and Tyler counties suffered water damage from flooding caused by the storm. Thousands of other homes in Fort Bend County, Brazoria County, Wharton County, Matagorda County, San Jacinto County, Liberty County, and Chambers County also suffered flood damage.

Texas Communities Damaged by Harvey Seek Funds for Storm Cleanup and Repairs

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced recently that Texas counties that were hard-hit by Hurricane Harvey will be able to apply for a portion of the more than $1 billion in federal funds set aside to prevent or lessen damage from future storms. These funds can be used for a variety of projects, including home buyouts, elevating homes to protect against future floods, building seawalls, or large scale channeling of waterways.

Gov. Abbott encouraged communities affected by Harvey to begin applying for funds immediately in order to start receiving funds that are already available to be released. About $500 million of the $1 billion in funds from FEMA are ready to be released to communities as soon as they submit and receive approval for their project applications, Gov. Abbott said. The rest of the funds are scheduled to be released on the one year anniversary of the storm.

Local governments have also been taking their own steps to deal with future storms on the scale of Hurricane Harvey. Officials in Harris County near Houston are preparing to unveil a $1 billion bond proposal that would help pay for flood control projects in an area that was one of the hardest-hit by Harvey.

Homeowners who were affected by water or wind damage from Harvey may also be able to apply for public funds to pay for the cost of repairs. Although much of the storm damage from the hurricane will be covered by private insurance, some property owners may be eligible to receive state funds or FEMA relief that has been earmarked to cover the cleanup and repair from Harvey.

Bad Faith Insurance Lawsuits Filed by Heygood, Orr & Pearson

Home or business owners who believe they were treated unfairly by an insurance company may be eligible to file a lawsuit and seek compensation for water damage to their home, business, or other property. When insurance companies deny legitimate claims and fail to treat property owners fairly, the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson are willing to take them on, expose their wrongful actions, and make them pay for their improper conduct.

Heygood, Orr & Pearson has handled hundreds of commercial and insurance litigation claims, including cases involving water damages to homes or other property. Our law firm has the financial resources to handle bad faith insurance claims from start to finish. In many instances, our law firm has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in order to take a case to trial on behalf of our clients.

For more information about filing a lawsuit regarding water damage claims that were wrongfully denied by your insurance company, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001. You can also reach us by following the link to our free case evaluation form and answering a few brief questions about your case to get started.

by Eric Pearson

Eric Pearson is a licensed attorney and a partner at HO&P who handles commercial and personal injury lawsuits. Eric has been selected to the Super Lawyers List, a Thomson Reuters publication.