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AKIPRESS.COM - Hurricanes Harvey and Irma caused between $150 billion and $200 billion in damage to Texas and Florida, comparable to the costs from Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005, a according to a preliminary estimate from Moody's Analytics.
Hurricane Harvey battered Houston with record amounts of rain and flooding last month while Irma slammed Florida and other southeastern coastal states.
But Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, said rebuilding from the back-to-back storms will boost the U.S. economy in the fourth quarter of this year and into 2018, ABC News reported.
"While at this point it’s hard to know how much [damage there is], the storms seem likely to have caused $150 billion to $200 billion in total damage to homes and furnishings, vehicles, commercial real estate, and public infrastructure. This is comparable to the property loss resulting from Hurricane Katrina," Zandi's analysis states.
The Moody's economist added that a critical factor in determining the effect on the economy is "how much insurance money and government aid flows to the impacted regions, and how quickly these funds get there ... As with most natural disasters in recent years, we anticipate that the combination of insurance money and government aid with roughly cover the full cost of the property damage and the lost economic output."