As power generation returns to the grid and lights turn on for millions of customers in Texas, the historic rolling blackouts, Arctic blast, and winter storms may have cost billions of dollars in economic damage. But the damage wasn't limited to Texas, explained AccuWeather. The total damage and economic loss of the winter storms are estimated to be in the tens of billions of dollars across the country.
AccuWeather Founder and CEO Dr. Joel N. Myers said the latest batch of major winter storms had wreaked havoc in Texas and across the country. He estimates total damage and economic loss could amount to $45 and $50 billion. This comes as the US economy is on life support through fiscal and monetary injections.
For some perspective, AccuWeather estimates the 2020 hurricane season, one of the most active on record, cost between $60-$65 billion.
"We have been experiencing one of the stormiest patterns seen in decades," said Myers. Ahead of the mayhem, readers may recall we warned about an "Overwhelming Signal" - Major Winter Storm Threats For Million Of Americans Within Next Five Days."
Myers has been studying severe weather for more than five decades. He said, "the damage has been exacerbated by the record cold temperatures that have pushed to the Gulf Coast this week." Myers also warned the crisis's impact would ripple through the already fragile recovery.
Myers said his "estimate includes damage to homes and businesses as well as their contents and cars, job and wage losses, infrastructure damage, auxiliary business losses, medical expenses and closures." It also includes power outages to residential and commercial structures, highway closures, evacuations, and government cleanup operations.
Moody's Investors Service also suggests billions in insured losses are ahead.
"We expect insured losses for US P&C insurers to total in the billions of dollars, with claims from homeowners, commercial property, and auto lines of business," Moody's said in its report.
The Insurance Council of Texas warned the latest batch of winter weather "might be the costliest winter weather event in the state's history." It also said it "expected to be the largest insurance claim event in Texas history."
In a note titled "Is Texas Facing A Humanitarian Crisis?" we outlined the unfolding socio-economic devastation across the state.
Here's some of the weather-related destruction:
Fire alarm went off in my apartment building and a broken pipe over the garage. Make sure you've got water dripping from the pipes! No fire and my apartment wasn't affected thankfully. Crazy! pic.twitter.com/v0iHHzupEr— Michael Portman (@MichaelWPortman) February 18, 2021
Homes and commercial structures are expected to bear most of the damage due to snow and ice and cold weather. Moody's said, "flooding and other water damage caused by frozen and broken pipe" are expected to impact properties.
We suspect the brunt of the damage estimated by AccuWeather will be across Texas and the central US. More than 100 million people were affected by the Arctic blast and winter storms.
To remind readers, on Jan. 8, in a note titled ""Sudden Stratospheric Warming" May Trigger Wild Winter Weather For Northeast," it was noted that a polar vortex split would dump, at some point, Arctic air into Asia, Europe, and the US.