Over the past two weeks, the Southern United States were hit incredibly hard with two Category 4 hurricanes, back to back.
Houston was put nearly underwater by Hurricane Harvey over a week ago. The storm came quickly, and much of the city, and surrounding areas, were damaged before anyone could prepare.
Florida took on Hurricane Irma this weekend, with Miami, Naples and the Keys taking most of the damage. After passing through the southern-most tip of the state, Irma made its way north and covered the majority of Florida. Now that the Sunshine State is nearly clear of Irma, the hurricane has been downgraded to a tropical storm.
Together, these two storms will cost the U.S. economy around $290 billion for the damages caused.
Both of these hurricanes were devastating to the areas they affected, but in very different ways.
With Hurricane Harvey, there wasn't really enough time for people to prepare for what was about to hit them. The storm came very quickly, minimizing the amount of people who were able to evacuate.
What made things worse was the fact that the levees spilled over into the city of Houston. This is what caused the massive amount of flooding throughout the streets and homes of the city.
In this instance, that flooding is what has affected the people of Houston the most. Structures throughout the city still have standing water inside them, and there are still plenty of roads that can't be driven on.
The residents of the city are just now starting to put their lives back together as the water levels decrease.
With Irma, people had a lot more time to prepare, which helped keep the losses lower than they could've been. Still, no matter how prepared you are, winds that strong are still going to cause damage.
Miami suffered quite a bit of structural damage, as the city was hit while Irma was still incredibly strong. Videos from the city show cranes crumbling from the tops of buildings and roofs flying off structures.
In addition to Miami, places like Naples, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Jacksonville and several others were severely affected.
It's hard to compare these two storms, as they were both among the worst Atlantic hurricanes in recent memory. However, they were devastating for different reasons.
As mentioned, it was the flooding that brought so much damage to Houston, while the winds from the hurricane itself were what made Irma such a terrible storm.
On top of that, Irma was much worse for countries other than ours. Islands in the Caribbean suffered catastrophic losses of life and property as the storm was still a Category 5 when it hit. With winds of 185 mph, some of the smaller islands couldn't even slow Irma down.
It will take quite a while for the areas affected by both of these storms to recover.