As the aftermath of Harvey continues to wreak havoc, the director of the University of South Carolina’s Hazards and Vulnerability Research Institute its damage in dollars could be astronomical.
“I would not be surprised if, when we add it all up, losses exceed the $128 billion that resulted from Katrina,”director Susan Cutter told South Carolina Radio Network
“It’s a series of different kinds of hazards,” Cutter continued. “You’ve got the direct storm surge and high winds when Harvey made landfall in the southern part of the Texas coast.
Flooding is creating huge problems for south Texas. “Then you’ve got the enormous amounts of flooding and the atmospheric river contributing to that flooding over a very large piece of real estate,” Cutter said. An “atmospheric river” is a narrow corridor of concentrated moisture in the atmosphere.
Immediately after Hurricane Katrina, Cutter led a team of researchers who mapped storm-surge inundation along the Gulf Coast and assessed where residents were the most vulnerable.
She also completed a 2011 survey of South Carolina hurricane evacuation behavior for the Army Corps of Engineers and South Carolina Emergency Management Division.