Hurricane Harvey will cost $190bn: More than Sandy and Katrina

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Hurricane Harvey is expected to cost $190bn (Source: Getty)

The floodwaters may be receding in Houston, but the cost of Hurricane Harvey is likely to hit $190bn (£147bn), a weather forecaster has warned - greater than both Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina.

Joel Myers, founder of AccuWeather, said the hurricane was the "costliest and worst natural disaster in American history", and added the disaster could even push back the Federal Reserve's next interest rate hike.

"Business leaders and the Federal Reserve, major banks, insurance companies, etc should begin to factor in the negative impact this catastrophe will have on business, corporate earnings and employment," said Myers. 

"The disaster is just beginning in certain areas. Parts of Houston, the United States' fourth largest city, will be uninhabitable for weeks and possibly months due to water damage, mould, disease-ridden water and all that will follow this 1,000-year flood."

Read more: Hurricane Harvey flood bill keeps on rising as insurers grapple with damage


Hurricane Harvey has devastated homes and businesses in Houston (Source: Getty)

Myers also criticised the speed of reactions by US official after forecasters warned about the risks of the storm.

"The meteorologist forecasting community as a whole did a very good job in warning people about this storm," he said.  

"Public officials were slow, in some cases, to react or to know what to do, which affected too many people and caused the loss of property and damage and destruction.

"This was unfortunate because when a natural disaster threatens, minutes and hours count and preparation and risk avoidance is imperative."

Harvey, which has now been downgraded to a storm, continued to wreak havoc in the US overnight, with more flooding in Beaumont and Port Arthur in Texas. 

Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans in 2005, is thought to have cost $160bn, while Sandy, which hit the North-East of the US in 2012, cost $70.2bn. 

Read more: Gasoline rises to $2 a gallon as Hurricane Harvey causes supply concerns

Tags: Insurance