Official: US insurance program could pay $11b for Harvey

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The head of the National Flood Insurance Program says early estimates are that Hurricane Harvey will result in about $11 billion in payouts to insured homeowners, mostly in southeast Texas.

Federal Emergency Management Agency Deputy Associate Administrator Roy Wright said Wednesday that would put Harvey as the second-costliest storm in the program's history, after only the more than $16 billion paid out for Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Wright says it's too soon to estimate losses from Hurricane Irma. He says it's possible that storm could rival the nearly $9 billion paid out after Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

Even before the recent back-to-back storms, the program was $25 billion in debt to the U.S. Treasury. Wright said he's confident Congress will approve spending the money FEMA needs to pay Harvey and Irma claims.

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