What Are the Costs Associated with Hurricane Recovery?

For six months every year, June through November, Americans living on the Gulf Coast, the Atlantic Coast, and the Caribbean Sea are under threat of tropical storms and hurricanes. Over the course of several days in August 2018, Hurricane Harvey made landfall over Texas and Louisiana, dumping torrential rain and leaving massive flooding across the states. The recovery cost for just Texas was well over $2 billion, and the total cost for all damage was $125 billion. In addition to the loss of life and economic devastation, Harvey’s water, wind, and fire caused massive and extensive damage. While not all storms are so damaging, hurricanes have a costly impact on property and lives every year. Here is a closer look at the hurricane recovery costs coastal homeowners can expect to see following storm damage.

Water Damage

Torrential rain and coastal surges can cause water damage to property, leaving homeowners with anywhere between $1,000-$4,000 in damages on average. When the water overrun rivers, bayous, and storm drainage systems, it overwhelms sewers and floods streets before flowing into homes and causing destruction. After a hurricane is over, the secondary surge and flooding leads to pervasive and potentially long-term standing water in yards, basements, and paved areas that can’t absorb the water. Getting rid of this standing water can cost upwards of $2,800 per home. If dangerous mold and mildew growth occurred, remediation and removal costs are additional expenditures.

Wind Damage

Hurricane winds damage siding, roofs, and exterior structures like decks and awnings. Depending on the extent of the damages, property owners can expect between $2,000 and $10,000 in repairs after a significant storm. Strong gusts topple trees, rip out landscaping, and send plants airborne. Repairs for sidewalks broken by uprooted trees, landscaping material replacement and repairs, and broken windows and doors are additional costs that homeowners incur.

Fire Damage

Lightning strikes and electrical surges during hurricanes create house fires that cause soot, flame, and smoke damage to properties. Fire reconstruction and replacements costs range between $3,300 and $22,400 per event. Water from firefighter hoses leads to potential damage in areas of the property untouched by the fire. If that water sits and becomes stagnant, just as with standing stormwater, the recovery costs again increase with remediation efforts.

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