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Abbott: Hurricane Harvey Recovery Could Be More Costly Than Katrina

Gov. Greg Abbott (R., Texas) told CNN "State of the Union" host Dana Bash on Sunday that Hurricane Harvey could end up being more costly than Hurricane Katrina.

"I know it's very early and it's hard to know dollar figures down the road, but you're saying you believe the federal government will need to give north of a $100 billion?" Bash asked.

Abbott said it was his understanding that, "in the overall equation," Hurricane Katrina cost over $120 billion. He said Harvey could ultimately cost more, considering the greater magnitude of Harvey compared to Katrina.

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"When you consider the magnitude of the size of the storm, it is far larger than Katrina, both geographically and population wise," Abbott said. "When you look at the number of homes that have been mowed down and destroyed and damaged, this is going to be a huge catastrophe that people need to come to grips with. It's going to take years for us to be able to overcome this challenge."

Nearly 200,000 homes have been affected by flood damage and nearly 12,600 homes were completely destroyed in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Reuters reported.

Officials said at least 75 schools in Houston suffered severe or extensive water damage, or more than 25 percent of all those in the district.

At least one high school, with 2,700 students, was unlikely to open for nearly the entire school year, and the city was still evaluating some other school structures.

Many areas of Texas were still battling floodwaters from swollen rivers that were expected to remain for a week or more. In Beaumont, about 85 miles (140 km) east of Houston, officials were trying to repair a flood-damaged pumping station that caused the city of about 120,000 people to lose drinking water for days.

Hurricane Katrina made landfall in August 2005 as a Category 3 storm with 127 mph winds between Grand Isle, La., and the mouth of the Mississippi River," according to CNN. In comparison, Harvey made landfall Aug. 25 between Port Aransas and Port O'Connor, Texas as a Category 4 storm with winds of 130 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) estimated the cost of rebuilding after Katrina to be around $108 billion and estimated that 1,833 people were killed directly or indirectly by the storm.

The White House sent Republican leaders  a request on Friday for $14.5 billion as a downpayment, and $7.8 billion in immediate aide, which would be followed up with another $6.7 billion.