America has not seen a natural disaster of this magnitude since, well…ever. This is estimated to be the most damaging natural event in the history of the United States. For scale, the Georgia Aquarium holds 8.5 million gallons of water while Hurricane Harvey dropped somewhere around 20 trillion gallons on Texas and Louisiana. This is enough water to fill the Georgia Aquarium over 2.3 million times. This amount of rain can devastate any city in the U.S.A. but the fact that it hit the gulf coast of Texas had a larger impact than just property damage, which on its own was immense.
Gas production for the country is taking a huge hit. The Gulf’s oil providers produce around 20% of the country’s crude oil supply and this storm has halted all production in the Gulf of Mexico, off the shore of Texas and Louisiana. This has caused gas prices around the country to rise at rates we haven’t seen in awhile, but hopefully, this will be just a temporary boost in gas prices. One of the main reasons for this price increase is the fact that gas pipelines have been shut down for the duration of the storm, and hopefully, those will be coming back online within the next few weeks as the Gulf cities begin to recover from Harvey. This will likely begin to bring the prices back down to a relatively normal level.
In the metropolitan Texas/Louisiana area, people are losing homes at a tremendous rate due to flooding. It is estimated that the amount of property damage to the cities affected could exceed 180 billion dollars, as estimated by Texas governor Greg Abbott (much higher than Katrina’s cost to repair of 108 billion dollars). It is important that we focus on the people and not just the amount of money that is being lost. People are losing homes, being forced out of jobs, and it is going to be that way for quite some time as the gulf coast cities begin to rebuild.
While the President has vowed to be with the people to support the extensive rebuild that will be required in order to get the communities on the Gulf back into living shape, it will still take a tremendous amount of time and effort in order to fix the damage that Harvey has caused. Around the corner is another hurricane that is projected to be even worse. This hurricane’s target is southern Florida and her name is Irma.