USAA Tool Gives Bird's Eye View of Harvey Before And After

Sep 1, 2017

*Updated 3:30 p.m.

A tool released by USAA Labs late Thursday night allows homeowners affected by Hurricane Harvey to get a sense of what their coastal home may be like when they finally get access. 

Using aerial photos and image mapping technology, they created a map.

"If you want to see if there is a boat in your front yard or you have roof damage, this is the tool for that," says Assistant Vice President of USAA Labs Lea Sims. It isn't effective past a certain altitude though she says.

The page is divided in two and acts as a window into the devastation that Harvey wrought.

On the right, idyllic pre-Harvey homes sit undisturbed.

On the left, a post-Harvey wasteland with cars and boats sitting askance on flooded lawns, trees with their leaves ripped off, and homes, some in ruins with collapsed roofs and walls washed away. A slider in the middle lets you reveal more of either side.

Seeing areas she was familiar with so damaged affected Sims. "That's when it hits your heard. The devastation that's still there today," she says.

The maps currently have sections of Houston, Corpus Christi, Rockport and other coastal communities. They are uploading more data all the time, with new data from NOAA, FEMA, and third-party vendors. 

USAA warns that the map is just for homeowners to better understand what to expect. They overlayed member data to provide updates on peoples homes.

Sims says USAA is trying to give some peace of mind to people in those areas who can't go home yet.