Hurricane Harvey will likely be most expensive natural disaster in US history: AccuWeather

  • Hurricane Harvey will wind up costing more than Katrina and Sandy combined, AccuWeather predicts.
  • It will likely cost the economy about $190 billion, according to the weather forecasting firm.
  • "This is a natural disaster that was not fully calculated," said Dr. Joel Myers, AccuWeather's founder and president.

Hurricane Harvey will likely wind up being the most expensive natural disaster in American history, costing the economy about $190 billion, according to AccuWeather.

In fact, the weather forecasting firm predicts it will wind up costing more than Katrina and Sandy combined.

"This is a natural disaster that was not fully calculated," Dr. Joel Myers, AccuWeather's founder and president, said in an interview with "Closing Bell" on Thursday.

"You had the greatest rainfall ever measured in the continental United States."

Marcus Yam | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images
Residential neighborhoods near the Interstate 10 sit in floodwater in the wake of Hurricane Harvey on August 29, 2017 in Houston, Texas.

In Houston, epic flooding caused tremendous water damage to houses, cars and businesses, many of which may not reopen, he pointed out.

"You also have damage to the supply chain across the country, which will increase the price of food, gasoline, heating oil."

And with many areas still underwater, the hot climate also becomes a factor, Myers said.

"The temperature and humidity are still very high and will be for another month or so, which is going to create all kinds of disease and after-effects, jobs lost, health problems."

When Harvey came ashore late Friday, it was the most powerful hurricane to hit Texas in a half-century. It has since been downgraded to a tropical depression.

At least 37 people were dead or feared dead in six counties including in and around Houston, according to local officials.

— Reuters contributed to this report.

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