The disaster that is Tropical Storm Harvey is still ongoing. It will be some time before the waters recede and the effect on Houston can be fully assessed. But it is already clear the damage to property is immense. Tens of thousands of structures were impacted by floodwaters. Eventually, Houston will require massive cleanup, demolition, and reconstruction of individual homes, large buildings, and infrastructure.
The first concern will be the financial resources necessary: Will insurance companies cover all the losses, and how much of them? How will the federal government’s heavily indebted flood insurance program come up with the cash to pay claims? And how much additional assistance will the federal government provide?
There’s another problem: a lack of human resources. It takes a lot of labor to remove debris after a storm and then reinstall Sheetrock and drywall, rebuild floors, and fix electrical and plumbing systems. The work is resistant to automation. And it is but one way in which Houston, which was poorly situated to deal with a hurricane, may also be poorly situated to recover from it.
More at source: Slate.com
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