On September 17, 2019 tropical storm Imelda made landfall on the Texas coastline. Recognized as the fifth-wettest tropical cyclone on record in the continental United States, the hurricane severely disrupted Texans daily life, until it dissipated on September 21.
According to weather.com, reported just one day after the storm hit:
“Tropical Storm Imelda formed, strengthened and made landfall in just an hour near the Texas coast Tuesday, but it’s not the first tropical system to spin up quickly near the U.S. Imelda originated from an upper-level low pressure system that dove southwestward off the coast of the Carolinas last week into the Gulf of Mexico early this week… The National Hurricane Center highlighted the western Gulf of Mexico for potential development on early Saturday morning, but the chances for development remained low through Tuesday at 8 a.m. CDT. That is, until the system quickly became more organized on Tuesday, with increasing thunderstorms bubbling just off the Texas coast. A tropical depression formed at 12 p.m. CDT Tuesday. It was forecast to become a tropical storm and a tropical storm warning was issued for part of the Texas coast. But it only took 45 minutes for that to happen. Tropical Storm Imelda formed at 1245 p.m. CDT, bringing with it a sustained wind of 40 mph at Freeport, Texas. Imelda made landfall at Freeport 15 minutes later, at 1 p.m. CDT, just an hour after first being designated a tropical depression. Since Imelda moved over land shortly after developing, it was not able to strengthen, but heavy rainfall and flooding were always the primary concern with this system. Changes with the system that became Imelda happened remarkably fast, but it is not the first system to develop quickly near the U.S”
The Center for Disaster Philanthropy reported that rainfall amounts were equivalent to Hurricane Harvey totals in some communities. “Gov. Greg Abbott declared a state of disaster declaration for thirteen counties in Texas on Sept. 19 as Imelda continued to wreak havoc on the state. Hundreds of people required rescue and evacuation support. In some communities, a shelter-in-place order was in effect due to flooded roads; officials were also watching for levees at risk of failing. The city of Houston and surrounding communities saw significant flooding, with many road closures. Some neighborhoods that were affected by 2017’s Hurricane Harvey as well as additional areas experienced high water in homes and businesses. Areas north and east of the city, including Beaumont, Vidor and Winnie were also impacted. A tornado was reported on Wednesday in Baytown, causing damage to several homes.”
One week after the storm settled, Texans are in recovery mode. Imelda was estimated to dump as much as 43 inches of water on some parts of Texas in just 3 days, leaving homes and families damaged and displaced. Sadly, reports have identified that five lives were lost in the devastating tropical storm. As for home destruction, specifically in Harris County, the Texas Division of Emergency Management identified that over 340 single-family homes were affected and at least 76 suffered major damage.
Looking at Recovery
Unfortunately, according to the Texas Department of Insurance, “There are 4.8 million homeowner policies in Texas, but fewer than 750,000 federal flood policies. That means less than 16 percent of homeowners are covered for flood damage in a state with 367 miles of coastline and ‘Flash Flood Alley.’”
The damage of tropical storms can range, depending on the impact from the storm surge, heavy rains, and winds. Flood damage can cause catastrophic damage and result in mold, electrical malfunctioning, swelling of wood, rusting of uncoated metal surfaces, discoloration of sensitive furniture, carpet staining and many more issues. Wind can result in structural damage, specifically if any outdoor debris falls on the home, such as a large tree. These issues can result in homeowners being displaced for weeks, months, and even years. In addition, businesses have lost their ability to operate and will need extensive time and capital to fully recover.
The total damage assessment has not yet been completed; however, it is estimated that damage will be more than $8 billion. The upcoming months will see large amounts of time and resources directed towards recovery.
Was Your Home Damaged?
If your home was damaged during Tropical Storm Imelda, and you either do not have insurance or you do not want to hassle with fixing the damage in your home, you can sell your home as-is. Contact us today to learn more.