The total economic impact from the winter storm currently impacting Texas and other states from coast to coast could be as high as $50 billion, according to the founder and CEO of AccuWeather, Joel N. Myers.
To put the numbers into perspective, AccuWeather’s estimate for the entire 2020 hurricane season was between $60 billion and $65 billion.
“We have been experiencing one of the stormiest patterns seen in decades,” said Myers, who has been studying the economic impact of severe weather for over 50 years. “The damage has been exacerbated by the record cold temperatures that have pushed all the way to the Gulf Coast this week.” Myers’ expert analysis helps emphasize the magnitude of the crisis’s impact.
Myers’ estimate of between $45 billion and $50 billion in damage is based on an analysis incorporating independent methods to evaluate all direct and indirect impacts of the massive storm.
He said that AccuWeather’s estimate includes damages to homes and businesses as well as their contents and cars, job and wage losses, infrastructure damage, medical expenses, and closures. The estimate also accounts for the costs of power outages to businesses and individuals, for economic losses because of highway closures and evacuations and the extraordinary government expenses for cleanup operations.
Many Texans are struggling after enduring coronavirus restrictions and now freezing amid power outages. “To go through all of that and then also have stuff like this happen, it’s like, ‘One more [historic] event, and I’m going to develop PTSD,”’ Brianna Blake told the Texas Tribune on Wednesday.
So many people have been affected, and there is a need for organized aid and relief.