Harvey and Irma recovery could cost billions

Posted at 6:25 PM, Sep 13, 2017

Tuesday night, it was a who's who of A-list celebrities, all taking part in the Hand in Hand benefit to help people impacted by hurricanes Harvey and Irma. In total, the even raised more than 44 million dollars, but it may take much more to help victims fully recover.

Nearly three weeks after Hurricane Harvey and you see debris and destroyed furniture in many Houston neighborhoods. At the Tyty home, recovery is a slow process, with some bright spots making it a little easier.

"Fortunately our stove is currently working," says Tosha Atibu. "It can still work."

Atibu's home is gutted out, still she, her husband and four children are still living in it.

"I know it's not a safe place to be but I don't know where else I can go," Atibu says.

More than 20,000 people are still in shelters or FEMA hotels in Texas. And even though flood waters are gone, mold and mosquitoes are still here along with the threat of sickness and disease. In hard-hit Port Arthur and Beaumont, people are still struggling to find the basics like food and water.

But right now, all eyes are focused on Florida where people are just beginning picking up the pieces left in Irma's wake. They're clearing debris from roads and checking for damage, so that those who evacuated can return to their homes.  But millions are still without power and boil water advisories are in place in many areas.

In the U.S. Virgin Islands people are still being evacuated to Puerto Rico.

St. Thomas Evacuee Patrice Harris says, "Being in a state where I'm not sure what's going to happen next, not sure where I'm gonna get my next meal, that's something that's very discomforting for me. So I'm happy to have been able to leave the island."

All said, this is going to be a long recovery. The latest estimates show together, hurricanes Harvey and Irma have caused between 150 billion and 200 billion dollars in damage. And one estimate puts that figure closer to 300 billion dollars.