New York, New Jersey put $71 bn price tag on Hurricane Sandy
The state of New York and New Jersey need at least $71.3 billion to recover from the devastation wrought by Superstorm Sandy and prevent similar damage from future storms, according to their latest estimates.
The total, which could grow, came as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the state will need $41.9 billion, including $32.8 billion to repair and restore damaged housing, parks and infrastructure and to cover lost revenue and other expenses.
The figure also includes $9.1 billion to mitigate potential damage from future severe weather events, Cuomo said.
Neighbouring New Jersey, which saw massive damage to its transit system and coastline, suffered at least $29.4 billion in overall losses.
By some measures, Sandy was worse than Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, which tore into the US Gulf Coast in 2005, Cuomo said.
Sandy destroyed 3,05,000 houses in New York state — a still provisional number that’s likely to grow — compared to the 2,14,700 destroyed in Louisiana by Katrina and Rita.
Sandy also caused nearly 2.2 million power outages at its peak in the state, compared to 8,00,000 from Katrina and Rita in Louisiana, and impacted 2, 65,300 businesses compared to 18,700, Cuomo said.
While Sandy may have damaged more homes and businesses, Katrina took a far greater toll on human lives, killing more than 1,800 people directly or indirectly. Sandy, by comparison, is believed to have killed at least 121 people.
“Hurricane Katrina got a lot of notoriety for the way government handled — or mishandled, depending on your point of view — the situation,” Cuomo said.
3,05,000 Number of homes Hurricane Sandy destroyed in New York
121 The number of people that died owing to Hurricane Sandy