Photo: Mayor Bloomberg in Breezy Point, NY (nycmayorsoffice)
Hurricane Sandy killed at least 46 people and left 8 million without electricity on the East Coast of the United States, while risk analysts said Tuesday that damage from the “super storm” could run as high as $20 billion.
Eighteen of the fatalities were in New York.
California-based EQECAT Inc estimated insured losses from Sandy of around $5 billion and economic losses of $10 billion, less than what the risk-modeling firm originally forecast.
If the $10 billion figure turns out to be correct, it would place the economic impact from Sandy on a par with that from Hurricane Irene, which battered the Northeast in August 2011.
A much more pessimistic appraisal was offered by Jan Vermeren of Maryland’s Kinetic Analysis, who told EFE the economic losses from Sandy could climb to $25 billion.
Though Sandy interrupted production at oil refineries in New Jersey, the diminished demand for fuel due to restricted travel should prevent any sharp increases in prices at the pump, he said.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is confident the $3.6 billion it has on hand for disaster response will be enough to handle the challenges arising from Sandy, FEMA sources told The Wall Street Journal.
The storm made landfall Monday night near Atlantic City, New Jersey, packing maximum sustained winds of 125 kph (77 mph), sending a powerful storm surge into coastal areas in New Jersey and New York.
The rains from Sandy have caused flooding in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania.