‘One of the Largest Disasters America has Ever Faced’

‘One of the Largest Disasters America has Ever Faced’

Updated: Day 5 since Hurricane Harvey made landfall in southeast Texas and the slow-motion disaster still unfolding with some two feet of water wrecking the greater Houston area — two more expected, and now 15 deaths reported, up from the prior 10, likely related to the events during and after the hurricane hit the region.

NYTimes: Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas, calls the storm “one of the largest disasters America has ever faced,” said the region would not recover anytime soon.

Screenshot from FoxNews coverage of the flooding in greater Houston Tuesday.

Screenshot from FoxNews coverage of the flooding in greater Houston Tuesday.

Airports are closed, water treatment plants are flooded and now the Addicks and Barker reservoirs have been breached, as FoxNews.com reports.

Floodwaters in the the Addicks Reservoir, located about 19 miles west of downtown, went over the top of the 108-foot spillway for the first time in history, threatening immediate surrounding subdivisions.

With more rain expected through Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service, the region’s oil and energy facilities are at a standstill or near enough to one.

It’s still too early to estimate the cost of rebuilding the region’s infrastructure, swamped under close to 50 inches of rain in the Houston area since the Hurricane became a tropical storm, upending everything in the region of 6.6 million. But it’s not too much of an overstatement to say this could be the biggest infrastructure rebuild the country has seen, given the extent of the flooding so far.

The WSJ reports that Eagle Ford oil shale producers near Corpus Christi, with “initial estimates for lost production are between 400,000 and 500,000 barrels a day.”

“—Tropical Storm Harvey, the most powerful storm to hit Texas in half a century, has shut a significant portion of the state’s shale production, cutting off as much as 15% of U.S. oil supplies.

“As the hurricane’s widespread devastation has become clearer, several analysts say it is almost certain that much, if not most, of the region’s 1.4 million barrels a day of output is shut down.”

The report quotes Tony Sanchez, chairman of Eagle Ford operator Sanchez Energy Corp., saying that, while he doesn’t expect the outages to bee too extensive or last too long, on a technical level, “he fears that shale wells, once cut off, could lose pressure.”

 

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