Takeaways from final Hurricane Harvey damage report released by Harris County

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Harris County Flood Control District released its final report this week on the flooding and damage caused by Hurricane Harvey in August. The report details how much rain fell across the county during Harvey, the number of homes that flooded during the storm and the number of deaths caused by Harvey, including other information.

Here are six points outlined in the report:

  • Between 26 to 47 inches of rain fell across Harris County from Aug. 25-29. This resulted in a trillion gallons of water falling across the county, which is enough water to run Niagara Falls for 15 days.

  • Harvey flooded 154,170 homes across Harris County, which was about 9 percent to 12 percent of the total number of buildings in the county. A little less than half of the homes that flooded in the county were located outside of the 100- and 500-year floodplains. Also, only 36 percent of the homes that flooded in the county were covered by flood insurance.
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  • In total, Harvey caused $125 billion in damages across Texas, making it the second-costliest hurricane in U.S. history behind Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which caused $160 billion in damages.

  • A little more than 300,000 vehicles were flooded throughout Harris County, the majority of which were parked at homes, parking garages and car dealerships.
  • So far, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved $2.9 billion in flood insurance claims, $1.2 billion in small business loans and $4.48 billion in individual assistance to help Texas residents recover from the storm.
  • Harvey is attributed to 68 deaths statewide, which is the highest number of deaths caused by a hurricane in the state since 1919. Thirty-six of the deaths attributed to Harvey occurred in Harris County.

HCFCD released the report about a week after Harris County Judge Ed Emmett announced a campaign seeking public feedback on projects that should be funded by a potential $2.5 billion bond referendum.

County officials are holding 23 meetings throughout the county prior to the bond election, which is projected to take place on Aug. 25. Harris County Commissioners Court is set to establish the election date and bond referendum amount at its meeting on Tuesday, June 12.

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Zac Ezzone
Zac Ezzone began his career as a journalist in northeast Ohio, where he freelanced for a statewide magazine and local newspaper. In April 2017, he moved from Ohio to Texas to join Community Impact Newspaper. He worked as a reporter for the Spring-Klein edition for more than a year before becoming the editor of the Lake Houston-Humble-Kingwood edition.
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