Governor of New YorkAndrew Cuomo has said that Hurricane Sandy was worse than the 2005 Hurricane Katrina, which hit New Orleans.
The New York Government has come under fire for his comments. He said that despite the fact that there were considerably fewer deaths during Hurricane Sandy, it was “in some ways worse than Katrina.”
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Although 1,833 people died during Katrina and only 121 during Sandy, the high density of the population in New York and New Jersey meant that the Superstorm “affected many, many more people and places than Katrina.”
Sandy destroyed 305,000 houses in New York state (this number is likely to grow) compared to the 214,700 destroyed in Louisiana by Katrina and Rita. Sandy 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, Cuomo said.
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Speaking to the press on Monday, Cuomo said New York State will require nearly $42 billion in federal aid to rebuild. In all, the damage on the east coast will require at least $71.3 billion. This figure has jumped from the previous estimate of $50 billion.
In New York $32.8 billion will be used to restore damaged housing, parks and infrastructure and to cover lost revenue and other expenses. Another $9.1 billion will be used to mitigate potential damage from future severe weather events.
Cuomo said, “Hurricane Katrina got a lot of notoriety for the way government handled -- or mishandled, depending on your point of view -- the situation.
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“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.”
Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office has estimated that New York City had $4.8billion of uninsured private losses, $3.8billion of insured private losses, and $4.5billion in losses to city agencies. They estimate that fixing the damaged roads in the City will cost $800 million.
Similarly, New Jersey saw massive damage to its transit system and coastline, suffering $29.4 billion in losses according to Governor Chris Christie’s office.
Here’s Governor Andrew Cuomo’s press conference on the price of Hurricane Sandy: