Superstorm Sandy, a hybrid of a hurricane and two cold-weather systems, struck six months ago on Oct. 29, concentrating most of its fury on New Jersey, New York and Connecticut and becoming one of the most expensive storms in history. Six months later, the region is still recovering and the scope of the storm has come into sharper focus. Figures are as of April 26.
DEATHS: The National Hurricane Center attributes 72 deaths in the United States directly to Sandy and 87 more indirectly, from causes such as hypothermia due to power outages, carbon monoxide poisoning and accidents during cleanup efforts, for a total of 159.
DAMAGE: The Hurricane Center estimated Sandy’s damage at $50 billion, second only to the $108 billion caused by Hurricane Katrina in Gulf Coast states in 2005. Congress approved more than $60 billion in storm aid for Sandy victims and their communities.
HOUSING AID: The Federal Emergency Management Agency has paid out $959 million for housing assistance and $848 million to communities and nonprofit groups in New York state, and $387.4 million in housing grants and $263 million to communities and nonprofit groups in New Jersey.
DISASTER LOANS: The Small Business Administration has made $1.4 billion in disaster loans for homeowners, renters and businesses in New York, and $731 million in New Jersey.
[INSURANCE CLAIMS: Insurance companies will pay an estimated $18.8 billion in claims to their policyholders, according to the Insurance Information Institute. The damage caused by Sandy generated nearly 1.1 million claims from homeowners, a quarter million from vehicle owners and more than 200,000 claims from business owners. More than half of the 1.5 million claims for Sandy-related damage to homes, vehicles, boats and businesses were filed in either New Jersey or New York. The others were filed in a dozen other states as well as the District of Columbia. These estimates of claims payments do not include claims for flood damage insured under the National Flood Insurance Program.]
FLOOD INSURANCE: The National Flood Insurance Program has paid $3.4 billion in claims in New York and another $3.3 billion in New Jersey.
UTILITIES: Jersey Central Power & Light says 1.3 million customers lost power in New Jersey. It cut 65,000 trees to help restore power, fixed 34,000 downed wires and put up 6,700 new utility poles. In New York, Consolidated Edison has strung 60 miles of new electrical cable after the storm and eventually restored power to more than 1 million customers.
Sources: National Hurricane Center, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Jersey Central Power & Light, Con Ed
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