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Hurricane Harvey

National Hurricane Center Confirms Harvey Was Heaviest Rainstorm In U.S. History

The center’s post-storm analysis estimates Harvey caused about $125 billion in damage, making it America’s second-costliest tropical cyclone after Hurricane Katrina


The National Hurricane Center has released its official report on Hurricane Harvey, exactly five months from the day the storm made landfall in Texas.

Harvey set a new record: Highest rainfall total for any storm in U.S. history. Nearly 61 inches poured down on Nederland, Texas, near Beaumont. "That exceeds the previous United States rainfall record in a tropical cyclone of 52 inches, and there are actually quite a few sites that exceeded the previous 52 inch mark," said Eric Blake, coauthor of the study.

The report also confirms Harvey was the second-costliest tropical cyclone in American history after Hurricane Katrina. "When Katrina occurred," said Blake, "its estimate was about $125 billion, which is actually similar to Harvey now, but that was in 2005 dollars. So if you adjust it [for inflation] to 2017 dollars, then Katrina goes up to like $160-plus billion."

At least 68 people in Texas died as a direct result of Harvey. That's the largest number of direct deaths from a tropical cyclone in the state since 1919. Indirect deaths – like from vehicle crashes or isolation from medical care – push Harvey's death toll in Texas to more than 100.


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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew Schneider is the senior reporter for politics and government at Houston Public Media, NPR's affiliate station in Houston, Texas. In this capacity, he heads the station's coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments...

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