Hurricane Irene swept through the east coast this past weekend, leaving an untold amount of damage in her wake. The cost of that damage is now being determined.
The hurricane approached the U.S. on Friday after barreling through the Caribbean, first hitting North Carolina, then the New York tri-state area on Saturday and Sunday and finally ravishing New England on Monday. The cost of damage has been estimated at a few hundred thousand to several billion dollars across the different regions.
Speaking at a firehouse in Staten Island, Mayor Michael Bloomberg stated that it will be weeks before New York can definitively say how much of a financial loss Irene has left in its wake.
Estimations have been noted at as high as $14 billion in total estimated damage over all the states affected.
The New York Daily News reports that total damage could be between $7 billion and $13 billion, including property damage, economic fallout and other factors that can be affected by extreme weather events.
New York City in particular took extraordinary precautions in protecting itself against Irene. Subway and bus systems were closed throughout the weekend to prevent any unnecessary casualties.
"We were just unwilling to risk the life of a single New Yorker," Bloomberg said.
From Friday evening to Saturday at noon before public NYC transportation was halted, fares were free on buses and trains. All of these factors will have to be calculated into the total cost of Irene.
The Bloomberg Report has detailed that analyses by the Kinetic Analysis Corp., a firm that predicts the effects of disasters, estimated the cost to insurers at approximately $2.6 billion. The Bloomberg Report has estimated that the Carolinas received between $200 million and $400 million in insurance losses.
The Wall Street Journal reports that insurance companies could be responsible for between $3 billion and $5 billion in hurricane damage across the east coast.
President Barack Obama commented on the hurricane on Sunday, stating that the effects of Irene will be felt for a while.
"The impacts of this storm will be felt for some time," he said. "And the recovery effort will last for weeks or longer".
The Bloomberg Report also detailed that income losses in what is usually a busy vacation time in the east coast, most likely won't be able to be made up.