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Preliminary estimates from experts rate Hurricane Harvey as the most expensive natural disaster in U.S. history – some placing the damages from the massive storm at up to $190 billion.

That’s more than Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Superstorm Sandy in 2012 combined.

Economic impacts of the storm will be felt nationwide, from higher prices at the gas pump, to lost resources for cutting-edge medical research.

Texans themselves will feel the biggest impact at home as they attempt to recover from the storm.

In the very least, the loss of so many businesses will lead to thousands of workers filing for unemployment.


Even for industries undergoing temporary shutdowns during the storm, such as the oil refineries, where up to 1 million barrels of oil of processed on any given day, these workers will find themselves in economic hardship due to lost income, as well.

RELATED: Hurricane Harvey will have economic impact beyond Houston

Refineries up and down the Texas and Louisiana coasts are still struggling to get back online 100 percent; the ExxonMobil refinery in Baytown, just east of Houston, for example, shut down for an entire week and suffered some flooding.

The Saudi-owned Motiva facility in Port Arthur, the largest refinery in the U.S., also closed down during the storm.

These and other shutdowns will mean higher gas prices, and not just in the Lone Star State.

Retail, construction, and vehicle sales may see a spike in revenues, as residents seek to replace their damaged vehicles, recover their lost possessions and repair their flood-soaked homes.

However, while some sectors may see a boost, experts agree the effects are likely to be temporary.

But the biggest impact may be felt by the true source of power in nearly any economy at nearly any time: small businesses.

According to reports, these small businesses will be hampered by storm damage to their property, lost time due to employees who are unable to come into work and to a lack of access for customers or suppliers.

RELATED: Texas Refineries Shut Down For Hurricane Harvey

While aid from government agencies and private charities may help short-term, it is still too soon to determine if they will help the once-thriving economy of Southeast Texas get back to the boom periods enjoyed in previous years.

If you need or would like to help in Houston, read more here.

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