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Record Rainfall From Hurricane Harvey Flooded Half A Million Cars And 300,000 Buildings In Texas

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon

Hurricane Harvey brought more rain than any other hurricane in recorded U.S. history, the National Hurricane Center says.

The center released its final report on the record-breaking storm this morning, putting the death toll at at least 68, all in Texas, with 36 of those in the Houston and Harris County area. Harvey is second only to Hurricane Katrina in terms of storm damage, as well, the center found, with an estimated cost of $125 billion in damages, compared to Katrina’s $160 billion.

Scenes From Hurricane Harvey

Nine of the 19 rain gauges in Harris County reached all-time highs, according to the report, but Harvey dumped the most rain on Nederland and Groves, just outside of Beaumont, along the Gulf Coast. Overall, 18 separate gauges registered 48 inches of rainfall across the state.

The National Hurricane Center said the storm was exceptionally slow-moving once it parked over the Houston area, finding the storm “hardly moved” from Aug. 27 to Aug. 28. That stasis brought nearly 7 inches of rain in a single hour in Southeast Houston. The report also found Harvey produced 57 tornadoes, triggering more than 150 tornado warnings, mostly in and around the Houston area.

As far as damage, the center estimated anywhere between $90 billion and $160 billion, largely because many of the flooded properties were outside a 500-year floodplain and owners didn’t have flood insurance. The center says there are still tens of thousands of outstanding Harvey-related claims. It’s worth noting, that the NHC estimate is out of step with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s estimate of $180 billion.

Across Southeast Texas, the NHC estimated, 300,000 buildings and half a million cars were reported flooded. Wind damage was especially extensive in the counties near where Harvey made landfall, with 15,000 homes destroyed and 25,000 damaged in Aransas, Nueces and Refugio counties, as well as parts of San Patricio County.

You can view the entire report below. 

Andrew Weber is a general assignment reporter for KUT, focusing on criminal justice, policing, courts and homelessness in Austin and Travis County. Got a tip? You can email him at Follow him on Twitter @England_Weber.
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