Hurricane Harvey is quickly shaping up to be the largest natural disaster in recorded U.S. history. Our hearts go out to all those impacted by this epic, tragic event. We wish to extend our gratitude to all first responders, emergency personnel, and others helping during this crisis. It is inspiring to see people coming together and helping any way they can in the most dangerous and overwhelming of conditions. We are in awe of the heroism and bravery displayed over the last week.
Harvey dropped an estimated 27 TRILLION gallons of rain on Texas and Louisiana over a six day period. To put that in perspective- that’s enough water to fill the Houston Astrodome 85,000 times. In fact, Harvey set the record for tropical cyclone rainfall measured in any one place in the U.S. in over 50 years.
Over 72,000 people have been rescued so far, with efforts on-going. Over 40,000 people are housed in shelters and new evacuations continue to be ordered.
As of Thursday FEMA reported that over 96,000 people in Texas were approved for emergency assistance and more than $57 million has already been distributed for housing, personal property and transportation assistance. In addition, countless private donors have raised tens of millions of dollars in aid for those impacted by Harvey. The White House is expected to ask Congress for $14.5 billion in relief funding as well.
Preliminary dollar estimates for Harvey damages vary widely; we’ve seen anywhere from $70-190 billion from various sources. As of Friday, FEMA estimated 185,149 homes are damaged or destroyed. Auto damages could hit the one million mark, based on vehicle ownership data and Houston area storm damage.
Of course the highest price of all comes in the form of human lives lost. At present, 47 deaths are being attributed to Harvey. Sadly, that number will rise in the coming days and weeks as volunteers and relief workers gain access to areas previously underwater.
We are proud to be a part of the response to this devastating catastrophe. Our adjusters make a real difference during this time of great need. We thank you for your service, dedication and compassion for those effected by hurricane Harvey. We know you will be working long hours and encounter many challenges in the coming weeks and months. As an organization, we are here to support you during this time- from the home office to the field, we are here for you as you put people on the road to recovery.