AccuWeather Raises Texas Damage, Loss Estimate from Winter Storm to $130B


Damage costs and economic losses from the intense winter storm that hit the country in mid-February may rise to as much as $130 billion in Texas alone, according to AccuWeather. That figure is up from the $50 billion to $60 billion range AccuWeather estimated previously.

Sweeping power outages, hundreds of thousands of insurance claims and millions of impacted residents across the nation are adding up to make the punishing coast-to-coast winter weather in February more costly than the historic 2020 hurricane season — and likely the costliest month of weather impacts in the U.S. in recent history.

Across the U.S., AccuWeather’s estimate of the total damage and economic loss resulting from the brutal winter weather in February is now about $155 billion.

“In February, we saw one of the most intensely cold and stormy patterns of winter weather not seen in decades with extreme record low temperatures and ice spread out across a very large area in multiple states,” AccuWeather Founder and CEO Dr. Joel N. Myers said in a media release. “Texas bore the brunt of the impact with significant damage due to citrus crop losses, power outages, water disruption, burst pipes in many of homes and businesses in addition to the loss of life.”

People wait in line to fill propane tanks Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

AccuWeather’s estimate is based on an analysis incorporating independent methods to evaluate all direct and indirect impacts of the storm and is based on a variety of sources, statistics and unique techniques the company uses to estimate the damage.

Comparatively, AccuWeather’s estimate for the entire 2020 Atlantic basin hurricane season was $60 billion to $65 billion in economic damages.

At least 58 lives were claimed by a mid-February storm, with many deaths as a result of hypothermia and carbon monoxide poisoning. In addition, some died in slip-and-fall incidents related to the frozen conditions. Eight states reported fatalities in connection with the storm, spanning from Texas to Ohio, according to The Washington Post.

Source: AccuWeather

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