Hurricane Sandy is already expected to cost more than $20 billion in repairs to homes, offices and major infrastructure, Bloomberg News reports.
An Oakland, California-based risk assessor “estimated Sandy would cause as much as $20 billion of economic damage with about $5 billion to $10 billion of that in insured losses,” says the report.
“It’s definitely taken a greater toll than we could have ever imagined,” said Joseph Sitt, chief executive officer and founder of Thor Equities LLC, a real estate developer with properties throughout New York City told Bloomberg TV. “All of our waterfront situations have been hit badly.”
The U.S. stock market shut down for two days, the first time the stock market has shut down for consecutive days due to weather conditions since 1888.
Between $7 and $8 billion worth of losses is insured, according to hazard-research company research and development director Charles Watson. The remaining costs to repair infrastructure, such as New York City’s subways and tunnels, will be largely paid for by cities and states.
The Red Cross has over 1,000 disaster workers out along the east coast. The Salvation Army has deployed mobile food units in seven states to serve thousands of meals.
It is uncertain as of now the election impacts of the storm. Federal Emergency Management Agency is preparing for disruption in the election next Tuesday due to the storm.
“We are anticipating that, based on the storm, there could be impacts that would linger into next week and have impacts on the federal election,” FEMA agency Administrator Craig Fugate said on a conference call with reporters Monday afternoon.
“Our chief counsel’s been working on making sure that we have the proper guidance,” he added. “We’re going through the regulatory policy and making sure all that’s in place and we can support it.”
Some are concerned Sandy will impact holiday shopping.
“The storm may reduce November same-store sales by as much as 3 percent as traffic may fall 40 percent in storm-affected areas in November’s first week, which accounts for about 22 percent of the month’s sales,” Bloomberg reports, also noting that many may opt to shop online instead.
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