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By Some Measures, Sandy Worse than Hurricanes Katrina and Rita

It’s a competition no one wants to win, but the comparisons are coming in...
December 5, 2012

It’s a competition no one wants to win, but the comparisons are coming in. At this point, by some measures, the devastation by Tropical Cyclone Sandy is greater than that caused by 2005’s Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Sandy destroyed 305,000 houses in New York state – a still provisional number that’s likely to grow – compared to the 214,700 destroyed in Louisiana by Katrina and Rita. Sandy also caused nearly 2.2 million power outages at its peak in the state, compared to 800,000 from Katrina and Rita in Louisiana, and impacted 265,300 businesses compared to 18,700, said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. 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.

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.

New York state 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. That number is expected to grow.

New York, New Jersey Estimate Sandy at $71 Billion (Insurance Journal 11/26/12)

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