Hurricanes Harvey, Irma caused $200 billion in damage: Report

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Hurricanes Harvey and Irma might have caused up to $200 billion in damage to the US states of Texas and Florida, similar to the costs from Hurricane Katrina that devastated New Orleans in 2005, according to an estimate from Moody’s Analytics.

Harvey battered Houston with record amounts of rain and flooding last month, killing more than 70 people. Irma wreaked havoc across much of Florida and other southeastern coastal states over the past few days. The storm has claimed at least seven lives and left over six million people without power.

“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,” Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, said.

The economist added that a critical factor…

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