Final Costs Of Hurricane Sandy Could Exceed $60 Billion
It’s been just under a month since the East Coast was hammered by Hurricane Sandy and, while the initial problems of power outages and gasoline shortages have largely cleared themselves up, much rebuilding remains to be done, and damage estimates are just starting to roll in.
Just a few days ago, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said that his state’s damages are already estimated to be near $30 billion:
NEW YORK, Nov 23 (Reuters) – Superstorm Sandy caused at least $29.4 billion in overall damage in New Jersey, according to a preliminary analysis released by Governor Chris Christie’s office Friday.
The estimate of the damage caused by the storm, which ravaged the Northeastern U.S. coastline late last month, includes personal property, business, infrastructure and utility damage, Christie said in a statement.
The statement said the preliminary cost estimate is “inclusive of aid received to date and anticipated from federal sources,” including the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Small Business Administration. Christie said it was a “conservative and responsible estimate” that could be revised higher, Christie said.
Last week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he planned to ask the federal government for $30 billion in disaster aid for the state. Earlier this month, New York City Comptroller John Liu said the storm was costing New York City $200 million a day in lost economic activity, with that amount likely to top out at about $1 billion.
“This preliminary number is based on the best available data, field observations and geographical mapping, and supported by expert advice from my Cabinet commissioners and an outside consulting company,” Christie said in the statement Friday.
And, today, New York’s Andrew Cuomo said damage costs in his state are likely already at the $30 billion level:
ALBANY, N.Y. — Top political leaders in New York put their heads together Monday on big requests for federal disaster aid as Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that Superstorm Sandy ran up a bill of $32 billion in the state and the nation’s largest city.
The cost is for repairs and restoration and does not include an additional accounting of over $9 billion to head off damage in the next disastrous storm, including steps to protect the power grid and cellphone network.
“It’s common sense; it’s intelligent,” Cuomo said. “Why don’t you spend some money now to save money in the future? And that’s what prevention and mitigation is.”
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg had announced earlier in the day that Sandy caused $19 billion in losses in New York City — part of the $32 billion estimate Cuomo used.
New York taxpayers, Cuomo said, can’t foot the bill.
“It would incapacitate the state. … Tax increases are always a last, last, last resort.”
Cuomo met with New York’s congressional delegation to discuss the new figures and present “less than a wish list.” The delegation, Cuomo and Bloomberg will now draw up a request for federal disaster aid.
States typically get 75 percent reimbursement for the cost of governments to restore mass transit and other services after a disaster.
The most basic recovery costs for roads, water systems, schools, parks, individual assistance and more total $15 billion in New York City; $7 billion for state agencies; $6.6 billion in Nassau County and $1.7 billion in Suffolk County, both on suburban Long Island; and $527 million in Westchester County and $143 million in Rockland County, both north of New York City, according to a state document used in the private briefing of the delegation and obtained by The Associated Press.
That’s $60 billion between just two of the states impacted by the storm. The total number will likely be larger. By way of comparison, Hurricane Katrina cost and estimated $105 billion in damages in 2005.