Effects of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma
by Kerry Hongisto

Effects of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma

From an economic perspective, Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are quickly becoming top natural disasters in US history. Harvey hit south Texas, while Irma hit Florida, and brought torrential rain and forceful wind, causing damage and flooding. Both hurricanes hit large centers of population. Some people literally have no place to go. Homes have been destroyed or are no longer habitable due to damage from rain, wind, and flooding. Public infrastructure will need to be repaired, which will take time and taxpayer funding.  People in the workforce cannot get back to work. Businesses are affected because they are closed and aren’t generating any income. The economy as a whole could suffer. For example, Texas is home to large oil refineries and if they cannot operate to their full capacity, the gasoline supply will decrease, which could lead to an increase in gas prices.

It is too soon to know the true impact of either hurricane, but we know that it is severe and unfortunately, there has been loss of life and property. It will take time, but people will be able to return to their homes and businesses and they can rebuild. There will likely be some people that will not return to their homes and will choose to reside elsewhere. Fortunately, many will return to the place they call “home” because even though a hurricane may take away their house, it cannot take away their memories. Natural disasters are always a terrible thing, but Americans coming together to help each other is the light at the end of the tunnel.

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