We all knew Hurricane Sandy was going to cause a ton of damage, but nobody thought it would amount to the $71.3 billion it cost the states of New York and New Jersey.
Between the actual devastation and preventative measures being taken to stop similar damage from future storms, the two states have to dish out over $70 billion in an attempt to return to normalcy.
The total is not finalized either, as new costs can arise over time.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Monday 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.
New York’s western neighbor, New Jersey, saw massive damage to its transit system and coastline, suffered at least $29.4 billion in overall losses, according to a preliminary analysis released by Governor Chris Christie‘s office Friday.
The preliminary cost estimate includes federal aid New Jersey has received so far.
While it wasn’t as large of a storm, Sandy, in many ways, was more destructive than the massive Hurricane Katrina, which ravished New Orleans and the Gulf Coast in 2005.
Sandy destroyed 305,000 houses in New York state, a provisional number that’s likely to grow, compared to the 214,700 homes destroyed in Louisiana by Katrina and sister storm Rita.
Sandy also caused nearly 2.2 million power outages at its peak in the state, compared to 800,000 from Katrina and Rita in Louisiana, and impacted 265,300 businesses compared to 18,700, Cuomo said.
The human death toll of Katrina was much larger, killing at least 1,800, while Sandy has been responsible for over 121 deaths as of now.
“Hurricane Katrina got a lot of notoriety for the way government handled — or mishandled, depending on your point of view — the situation,” Cuomo said at a press conference.
But considering the dense population of the area Sandy impacted and costs to the economy, housing, and businesses, the damage done “was much larger in Hurricane Sandy than in Hurricane Katrina, and that puts this entire conversation, I believe, in focus,” Cuomo said.
A return to normalcy is still a long way away for the Tri-State area.
Jordan Shepherd | Elite.