Allison's Hefty Price Tag

Chic on a shoestring
CBS/The Early Show
After days of torrential rains and deadly flooding, the headlines in Houston continue to read like a page ripped from the Old Testament. Now, reports CBS News Correspondent Maureen Maher, a plague of mosquitoes has hatched in the city — hundreds of millions of biting, buzzing bugs.

By air and by land, the city is spraying thousands of acres with pesticide.

Ray Parsons is with Mosquito Control and says the blood-sucking pests are landing at a rate of 100 per minute — four times worse than what experts consider unbearable.

Allison's Impact
  • Up to 40 inches of rain fell in parts of Louisiana, between 30 and 40 inches in Houston, TX, between six and 12 inches in areas from the Gulf Coast to southern New England.
  • Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Connecticut were affected by Allison.
  • Federal disasters have been declared in Texas, Louisiana, Florida and Mississippi.
  • Allison is blamed for at least 41 deaths and dozens of injuries: Texas, 23; Louisiana 1; Mississippi 1; Florida 8; Pennsylvania 7; Virginia 1.
  • More than 20,000 people were forced from their homes or to evacuate threatened areas due to Allison, most in Houston, Texas.

    Source: FEMA, Reuters

  • Asked if he would call this a serious outbreak, he said, "Yes, I would."

    Officials will spend nearly $1 million combating the mosquitoes, but that's just a fraction of the overall damage done by Allison, the costliest tropical storm in U.S. history.

    "It will take months before we fully recover and that's because of the severity of the devastation," said Houston Mayor Lee Brown.

    Brown says as the floodwaters recede, the cost of the clean-up continues to escalate.

    Thus far, $1.7 billion in damage to homes, $1 billion commercial buildings and another $2 billion to Houston area hospitals. In all, nearly $5 billion in damages just in the city — to say nothing of the ongoing loss of cash to businesses.

    Eventually, the debris will be picked up, the mosquitoes will die, but for most here the memories of this storm will live on for a long time.

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