Harvey could cost Houston $50B in property damage, economic activity: report

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Hurricane Harvey is a disaster of historical proportions: Rep. Farenthold

Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) on the rescue and recovery efforts after Hurricane Harvey and President Trump's trip to Texas.

The high winds and record flooding Hurricane Harvey brought to Texas’ Gulf coast since Friday could cost the city of Houston tens of billions of dollars, according to a report.

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Since making landfall as a Category 4 storm, Hurricane Harvey has damaged countless homes, disrupted local oil refineries, impacted transportation routes and blocked freight shipments. In total, the storm could cost Houston as much as $50 billion in property damage costs and lost economic activity, the Greater Houston Partnership and Moody’s Analytics estimated in a report from the Houston Chronicle.

That total includes $30 billion to $40 billion in property damage alone, according to Moody’s, with potential for even higher costs if poor weather conditions continue in the Houston area. Meanwhile, GHP economist Patrick Jankowski told the Chronicle that each week of inactivity in Houston costs the city $10 billion in economic activity like retail sales and taxes.

“Some of that activity we’ll get back, but some of it we’ll never get back,” Jankowski told the newspaper. “There will be businesses that don’t recover from this. There will be businesses and families that will decide they’ve had enough of Houston."

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Representatives from the Greater Houston Partnership and Moody’s Analytics did not immediately respond to FOX Business’ request for further comment.

If preliminary damage estimates hold, Hurricane Harvey is one of the costliest natural disasters in U.S. history. Hurricane Katrina caused an estimated $108 billion in total damage, according to the National Hurricane Center.

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At least 14 people have died and many more have been injured due to Hurricane Harvey, Fox News reported. It is unclear how many houses have been damaged or destroyed in the storm. 

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