As recovery efforts continue in wake of Hurricane Beryl, the natural disaster is expected to cost at least $28 billion nationwide, according to estimates by AccuWeather.

The private media forecasting company provided a preliminary estimate that the United States would see around $28 billion-$32 billion in economic losses and damages due to Hurricane Beryl.

What’s happening?

Hurricane Beryl tore through the Greater Houston region on July 8 with high winds, rainfall and flooding conditions. As the region continues its recovery efforts, millions of Houstonians remained without power during a heatwave in the following days.

“Very warm waters helped Beryl intensify in its final hours over the Gulf of Mexico before it made landfall in southeast Texas, amplifying the damage and impacts,” AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Jon Porter said in a statement. “Millions of people were left without power in scorching summer heat. Several people were tragically killed in flood waters and by falling trees.”

According to CenterPoint’s outage tracker, more than 1.2 million people in Houston remained without power as of 4:35 p.m. July 9. The company estimates many people could remain without power going into July 14.

By the numbers

On July 9, a report by BMS, a global insurance broker, estimated that the U.S. insurance industry would experience up to $1.2 billion in losses.

The derecho that hit the Houston area May 16 resulted in $70 million in insurance losses, according to BMS. Approximately 1 million people in the Greater Houston area went without power during the derecho.

As of July 10, Texas Windstorm Insurance Association has received over 7,000 insurance claims, and Texas FAIR Plan Association has received over 1,300 claims, according to Aaron Taylor, a senior legislative and external affairs specialist at TWIA.

TWIA is an agency that offers wind and hail insurance to the coastal counties in Texas, as well as a small portion of Harris County, that have been rejected by the private market.

TFPA offers a broader policy that provides broader property insurance statewide to anyone rejected by the private market. Nearly 60% of all TFPA policies are in Harris County.

Staying local

Emergency response during and after a crisis can help create temporary jobs, said Bruce Hillegeist, president and CEO of the Greater Tomball Area Chamber of Commerce.

“This helps others with some job creation for renovation, repairs [and] cleanup, and people can be creative in deciding how to approach something like this that is devastating, but then turn it into something that is for their benefit,” he said.

Through the 30 years Hillegeist has been at the chamber, he said Houstonians have powered through fires and floods, and he believes they will make it through Beryl as well.

President Joe Biden has approved a disaster declaration for the state of Texas as of July 9. This will allow small businesses in the area to apply for low-interest loans and grants.

“The Small Business Administration sends us daily reports and the daily offerings from the federal government, because small businesses ... is the backbone of the American economy and a chamber of commerce,” Hillegeist said. “We're all about progress. We're about prosperity and creating jobs, and to get back up and running quickly is going to help in the healing process of our local economy.”

The context

The region was hit with 8-12 inches of rainfall and 80 mph winds during Hurricane Beryl, leading to widespread flooding and wind damage. The storm left more than 2 million people and businesses without power, and extensive cleanup efforts are required to clean up the debris and power lines.

The area is under a heat advisory, according to the National Weather Service, with heat index forecast up to 101 degrees. This will create an elevated risk of heat exhaustion or heat stroke for people cleaning up the debris, according to a news release from AccuWeather.

The estimates by AccuWeather largely account for damage to homes, businesses, infrastructure as well as power outages that might result in food spoilage or cause interruptions to medical care. The estimated cost accounts for damage that has already occurred and the upcoming damages to the Midwest as Beryl moves north in the next few days.

The estimate was calculated using independent methods of elevation that includes the direct and indirect impacts of the storm. This includes both insured and uninsured losses, according to a news release from AccuWeather.

Follow for more updates related to Hurricane Beryl.

Nichaela Shaheen contributed to this report.