Hurricane Sandy Destruction Could Total $50 Billion

Hurricane Sandy’s economic damages could total $50 billion, the forecasting firm Eqecat found.

The $50 million total is double the initial estimate for Hurricane Sandy damages, The Associated Press reported. Eqecat said on Thursday that it estimates economic losses will end up somewhere between $30 billion and $50 billion, with the cost to insurance companies running between $10 billion to $20 billion.

Hurricane Sandy generated much more damage than a typical Category 1 storm, Eqecat noted, mostly because of the widespread power outages it caused. Eqecat also said it raised Hurricane Sandy damage estimates to $50 million because of the lack of subway service in New York City and blocked roadways that came as a result of the storm. It also flooded large portions of New York City and New Jersey, with Atlantic City largely underwater.

Eqecat had originally estimated that Hurricane Sandy would bring economic losses as high as $20 billion, with insured losses reaching $10 billion.

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Hurricane Sandy’s impact has been felt beyond the estimated $50 billion in economic damage. The storm has left large portions of New York and New Jersey still without power, with an estimated 5.6 million homes still without dark. At the peak of the hurricane close to 8.5 million homes were without power, with outages occurring in a wide range of the United States reaching all the way to Michigan.

Many areas are just beginning to survey the damage left to coastal areas as record-high storm surges receded.

As the New York Daily News reported, the death toll from Hurricane Sandy has now reached 74 in the United States along with close to 30 more in the Caribbean.