01/09/2017 – News / Hurricane / Houston / Harvey / Economy / AccuWeather

AccuWeather predicts Hurricane Harvey to be more costly than Katrina and Sandy combined

A leading light in commercial weather forecasting services has estimated that Hurricane Harvey, which has wreaked havoc in Texas, is the most costly natural disaster in United States history.


Dr. Joel N. Myers, Founder, President and Chairman of AccuWeather – and sometimes referred to as the ‘father of commercial meteorology’ – stated: “AccuWeather has raised its estimate of the impact to the nation's gross national produce, or GDP, to US$190bn or a full one per cent, which exceeds the totals of economic impact of Katrina and Sandy combined.”


Dr Myers urged business leaders and the Federal Reserve, major banks and insurance companies to begin factoring in the negative impact this catastrophe will have on business, corporate earnings and employment. “The disaster is just beginning in certain areas,” he warned. “Parts of Houston, the United States’ fourth largest city, will be uninhabitable for weeks and possibly months due to water damage, mold, disease-ridden water and all that will follow this 1,000-year flood.” 


More misery to come


Due to the negative impact to the national economy, the Federal Reserve will likely postpone the next increase in interest rates, believes Dr Myers, who went on to predict that catastrophic flooding will continue in Houston, where the rain has ended, and in Beaumont and Port Arthur, Texas, to Lake Charles, Louisiana, even after the rain comes to an end.


“The meteorologist forecasting community as a whole did a very good job in warning people about this storm. Public officials were slow, in some cases, to react or to know what to do, which affected too many people and caused the loss of property and damage and destruction,” he noted. “This was unfortunate because when a natural disaster threatens, minutes and hours count and preparation and risk avoidance is imperative.


Vigilance required


“While AccuWeather forecasts were a few hours ahead of the competition in alerting people and companies to the severity of the impacts that were coming, the entire meteorological community did a first rate job, and it's frustrating that some entities were slow to take action. We are gratified that many people told us because of AccuWeather forecasts they did get to safety and out of harm's way and many businesses we serve reported they took immediate action to minimise losses," Myers said.


“AccuWeather cautions that the negative impact from the storms are far from over. There will be more flooding, damage, fatalities and injuries,” Dr Myers stressed. “We urge all citizens near the path of Harvey to remain vigilant and be prepared to take immediate action if flood waters rise.”

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