Flood damage? 8 problems to watch out for

  • A military helicopter flies over a destroyed house after Hurricane Harvey struck in Rockport, Texas, August 26, 2017. RICK WILKING/REUTERS

    Hurricane Harvey continues to keep people out of their homes. Experts estimate that the storm has affected nearly 6.8 million Texas residents -- approximately a quarter of the state's population. In Houston alone, the storm has damaged or destroyed an estimated 100,000 homes, and Texans won't be the only ones facing challenges in the wake of this natural disaster.

    "Houston is a major market," said Lawrence Yun, chief economist and senior vice president of research at the National Association of Realtors. "It's our fourth-largest metro market in the country and very important, so one cannot dismiss that Houston will have a national economic impact."

    What Yun described as the "pause" between the end of the storm and the beginning of longer-term recovery efforts is likely to have an immediate impact on U.S. GDP.

    "I think the GDP will slow down by maybe a quarter percentage point," Yun said. However, he continued, the recovery phase could boost GDP by more than a quarter percentage point.

    While economic measurements like GDP can be helpful in certain contexts, the devastation residents of Texas, Louisiana and other areas face is likely to last longer than a few months. Those who have lost jobs, cars, homes and other assets (and worst of all, loved ones) could contend with a more difficult road ahead.

    On top of personal and financial struggles, those beginning to rebuild may be forced to grapple with labor and material shortages and unscrupulous contractors hoping to profit from a disastrous situation.

    The latest "job numbers show that the total job addition in the construction industry is just minimal," said Yun. "It will be a tougher situation in this natural disaster, possibly, compared to other natural disasters."

    Rebuilding a home after a flood is always a challenge, but in the case of the flooding following Hurricane Harvey, homeowners can expect to encounter some unique hurdles. Here are eight problems those hoping to rebuild after a flood should look out for.

  • Ilyce Glink On Twitter»

    Ilyce R. Glink is an award-winning, nationally-syndicated columnist, best-selling book author and founder of Best Money Moves, an employee benefit program that helps reduce financial stress. She also owns ThinkGlink.com, where readers can find real estate and personal finance resources.