Immediately after "Superstorm" Sandy, N.Y. and N.J. officials indicated that the cost of the storm's damage would be staggering but now they have come up with preliminary estimates of just how formidable. The combined total damage estimate for both states is about $62.8 billion, according to official reports.
N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, citing a study with local government officials and private firms including PricewaterhouseCoopers and the PFM Group, estimates that repair work and response to the storm cost New York State $32.8 billion and he anticipates a further $9.1 billion in mitigation and prevention costs. N.J. Gov. Chris Christie says that a preliminary analysis of the storm's damage to the state puts the total cost at $29.4 billion.
"The devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy is of unprecedented proportions, ranking among the worst natural disasters in our nation's history in terms of loss of life, property damage and economic impact," Cuomo said in a Nov. 26 statement. The governor also broke down recovery and prevention costs, including an estimated $15 billion for New York City and about $7 billion for state agencies and transit authorities. A separate break down by recovery cost estimates includes some $7 billion for transit, roads and bridges.
"The $9 billion in mitigation/prevention costs include 'common sense' mitigation actions," Cuomo says. These include flood protection for the World Trade Center site and vulnerable road and subway tunnels, fuel supply system power generation, sewage treatment plant flood protection, and secondary power supply systems for health care facilities, he adds.
Christie said in a Nov. 23 statement that his state's estimate may increase in the weeks ahead and includes aid received to date and anticipated from federal sources. Any refinement would likely include the long-term impact on the next tourism season, shifts in population and impact on real estate values, he says.
"I will spare no effort and waste no time to rebuild and restore our tourism industry, our transportation and utilities infrastructure and the lives of our citizens for the long term," Christie says.
Meanwhile, in Connecticut, Gov. Dannel Malloy estimates damage costs so far at about $360 million, according to a recent Associated Press article.