Hurricane Harvey decimated communities along the Gulf Coast of Texas and left large swaths of the Lone Star State underwater when it roared ashore nearly three weeks ago. Today, residents are still cleaning up and looking to rebuild.
The storm dumped up to 50 inches of rain in some areas, making Harvey one of the most catastrophic storms to ever hit the Texas coast. Early estimates say that damages could exceed $30 billion.
New drone footage taken last week by Crawford’s Catastrophe Services, which according to the Atlanta-based company’s website is “the world’s largest publicly listed independent provider of claims management solutions to insurance companies and self-insured entities,” shows how the Category 4 hurricane changed the Texas landscape.
The footage reveals that in some places, row after row of decimated homes are all that’s left.
“We mobilized early, even before the storm made landfall, sending adjusters into the area to support early property and auto claims volume,” said U.S. Property & Casualty CEO, Ken Tolson, noting, “Our number one priority is to ensure we are positioned to respond quickly and in a highly coordinated fashion. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who have suffered losses, and we are doing everything we can to help people return to their homes, communities and businesses as soon as possible.”
Of particular concern is the effect Harvey is having on the crude oil and gasoline industry. Houston is responsible for up to 25% of oil production, and more than 10% of the country’s refining capabilities.
Crawford is using the technology of drones to get a good look at areas where people can’t yet go. He has a comprehensive roster of thousands of adjusters, contractors, lookers and drone operators available to support customers,
“Based on what we are seeing, we expect the highest wind claims volume to come from Nueces County, and the highest flood claims volume to come from Harris and Galveston counties. However, wind damage is expected to be minimal, with most of the rebuilding work due to flooding,” said Verma, noting that large parts of Houston were so flooded that they were inaccessible.
“We are also heavily involved in assessing auto and heavy equipment damage caused by the storm,” said Verma.
In the seaside town of Port Aransas, some structures appear to have dodged total devastation from the outside, but the discarded piles of furniture and carpeting building up along the sides of roads are proof of the five-foot storm surge that drowned the town.
The south end of town now sports a large pile of debris being created from the smaller piles that are all over the area.
Residents around Rockport and Fulton have spent the last few weeks removing fallen trees from their yards, and getting tarps on people’s roofs, after Harvey slammed into them with 140 mph winds.
The small community of Holiday Beach was one of the hardest hit.
Weeks after the storm, little has changed in the neighborhoods, where a majority of homes saw significant sections blown away by the winds. Boats are still being removed from lawns after approximately 11 feet of storm surge submerged the region.
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