Report: Sandy Second Costliest Storm in U.S. History

The National Hurricane Center released its report on Hurricane Sandy Tuesday.

Hurricane Sandy was the second costliest storm in this country’s history and directly responsible for 147 deaths – 72 of them in the U.S. alone – according to a recent report released by the National Hurricane Center.

The report, released by the organization Tuesday, provides details about the start of the storm, its evolution as it made its way through the Caribbean up through the east coast, and its impact on the region.

Though the number is still tentative, owing to incomplete data, the report puts the total damage incurred by the storm at $50 billion, noting that the actual tally could be much higher. Even just factoring in its initial estimate, the storm is more expensive than any storm other than 2005’s Hurricane Katrina.

To read the report in its entirety, click on the PDF in the upper right corner of this article. 

Sandy was also responsible for the largest number of hurricane-related deaths outside of the country’s southern states since Hurricane Agnes in 1972. Of the 72 deaths occurring in the mid-Atlantic and northeastern states, 41 were the result of storm surge, the report indicates. Falling trees and limbs killed another 20 people during Sandy.

Storm damage was extensive alone the east coast. At least 650,000 homes in all were either damaged or destroyed by Sandy, according to the report, with a majority of the damage caused by storm surge and waves. In all, roughly 8.5 million homes lost electricity during Sandy, with some areas not seeing their power restored for several weeks following the storm.

In New Jersey, 346,000 housing units were damaged or destroyed. Nearly 19,000 businesses sustained damages of $250,00 or more, with total business losses estimated at $8.3 billion. Power and gas line repairs are anticipated to cost approximately $1 billion, the report states, with water and sewer service repairs estimated to cost about $3 billion.

In addition to damage totals, the report also provides a look at Sandy’s impact along the shore. Though Sandy lost hurricane strength before reaching landfall in Brigantine, Atlantic County as a post-tropical cyclone, its size and sustained wind speeds of 70 knots, or just over 80 miles per hour, caused significant storm surges along the Jersey Shore.

The highest storm surge measured by the National Ocean Service (NOS) was at Sandy Hook in Monmouth County. There, the tide was measured at 8.57 feet above normal levels, though the station reporting the surge failed and stopped reporting during the storm. According to conjecture in the report, it’s possible that storm surge was much higher than that total.

In terms of tidal surge alone, Monmouth and Middlesex Counties saw the worst of it along their shorelines. During Sandy, surges in both counties were measured between 4 and 9 feet above normal tidal levels. In Ocean County, surges rose to between 3 and 5 feet above normal tides. Atlantic and Cape May Counties saw surges in some spots of between 2 and 4 feet.

As expected, the report states that New Jersey’s barrier islands were especially susceptible to tidal flooding during Sandy.

“Barrier islands were almost completely inundated in some areas, and breach in some cases, due to storm surge and large waves from the Atlantic Ocean meeting up with rising waters from back bays,” the report reads.

In areas like Seaside Park and Long Beach Island high-water marks were recorded at between 4 and 5 feet above ground level.

The NHC report also analyzed its forecast of Sandy, saying that genesis forecasts for the storm, despite its unwieldy size, were excellent. The NHC accurately predicated storm surges of between 4 and 8 feet along the Jersey Shore a full two days before Sandy made landfall. 

charlie February 13, 2013 at 02:53 PM
let's see. If it were a Hurricane and my damages were $50,000, I would have gotten $50,000 - $5,000 (deductible) = $45,000. Since it was classified as a tropical storm, I get nothing. But everyone is happy because the deductible is less? So now I can subtract the lower deductible from nothing and come up $50,000 in the hole. It was so convenient for it to change to a tropical storm just before hitting land. And most people who had a choice between paying flood and opting out would opt out. My feelings go out to the people who have lost their houses. I feel like I came out a winner compared to some people.
Gsieri Builders February 13, 2013 at 03:01 PM
Good Morning neighbors from G. Sieri Builders we are going to spend time at the FEMA center today at the public library and catch up on recent activity. We encourage homeowners to petition for Grants on raising there homes and for demolition to rebuild. The more people that petition better the chances for Grant money to be spread around to those of us that needed. Stay strong lets get our community back up and running on all cylinders.
Tarkus February 13, 2013 at 04:11 PM
And i'm sure you will be handing out business cards also.
Forked River Piney February 13, 2013 at 04:33 PM
I heard Christie is going to be there handing out flood maps and Cheesesteaks
Freetobeyouandme February 13, 2013 at 04:45 PM
I was shocked that Obama included global warming in his SOTU address and made no mention of the middle class trying to ward off physical, emotional and financial ruin ("because that's the way they're made") while FEMA funds are still not dispersed. Christie, Cuomo and Malloy should be outraged that their citizens were ignored despite the govs accepting the FEMA maps. With heartfelt condolences to the victims of Sandy Hook, Aurora and other gun violence, Sandy storm victims finally got the "vote"; nothing has changed. Let's concentrate on "raising the minimum wage to $9.00" while facilitating the eradication of the life savings of thousands buried in "red tape". How did this all go so wrong?
Bill Storm, February 13, 2013 at 05:24 PM
Common sense would tell you that the cost of living raises every year (unless your on Social Security) so the amount of damage a storm does will increase each year. How can anybody justify the cost of a storm in 1950 compared to 2013. Of course with democrates that is easy. After all if you run out of benefits but are still not working, you are not considered unemployed. So you are not counted in the weekly rise or fall of unemployed. Gee I wonder what would happen if I let a democrate do my taxes?
Chief Wahoo February 13, 2013 at 05:35 PM
NO difference Dems or Repubs, they BOTH manipulate the numbers and change the meanings of word NO DIFFERENCE NO DIFFERENCE NO DIFFERENCE NO DIFFERENCE NO DIFFERENCE
Bob Short February 13, 2013 at 05:52 PM
That shounds great, let me ask you. I have a few friends who live in Brick, I see you've been doing a lot of advertisements here. So, let me ask. My friends who are in their 40's and 50's just lost their jobs. They have great responsibilities, rent, mortgage, They have skills, painting, labors as handymen or as helpers. would you hire them? They are US citizens, Brick town residents who need jobs.? can they give you a call or show up to a job site were you trucks are.?
re-tired February 13, 2013 at 06:23 PM
Except by the time our "jersey lawyers" get done with this debacle it will cost us twice this amount. I can see the ads now 1-800-sue-FEMA. If your bathtub overflowed from sandy !!
Opinionated February 13, 2013 at 06:28 PM
You also forgot to mention Immigration reform and Obamacare. The seniors are starting to realize they were conned by the dems and AARP. I hear AARP will change their initials to RIP.
Opinionated February 13, 2013 at 06:31 PM
There are many who say Sandy helped get Obama reelected. So the toll of the death and devastation will continue and make Sandy #1.
Irina February 13, 2013 at 06:51 PM
It all went wrong on election day. Does anyone really thing this mutt Obama care? If so I got a bridge to sell you.
Forked River Piney February 13, 2013 at 07:01 PM
you must be a 47% er Why the whining? Mitt said Fema is immoral you tea baggers should get off your guberment entitlement of medicare you hypocrites
Freetobeyouandme February 13, 2013 at 07:29 PM
The hypocrite in chief VOWED "NO RED TAPE"! Don't collect my premiums for decades, make payments to uninsured parties and then fail to honor my claim when the time comes.
Rick Avery February 13, 2013 at 07:32 PM
I just don't understand ... plenty of insurance coverage ( flood and contents ) and yet they still only have to pay me 21% of what I'm covered for !!! Something isn't right, meanwhile I still have to pay my mortgage on time !!
wookfish February 13, 2013 at 07:32 PM
who's taking what Forked River nuke nut....local gooberment cut in taxes...you db
proud February 13, 2013 at 08:22 PM
@ I have spoken, would that bridge be in the vicinity of the beach?
Irina February 13, 2013 at 08:35 PM
When is see legit folks getting the shaft from FEMA and then I see renters getting 8K and people who didn't have any insurance whatsdoever getting 30K it makes me ill. The domestic terrorist you all voted back into office should be held accountable.
clamdigger February 13, 2013 at 08:58 PM
by any chance, has anyone done a comparison to homes out of state that are in the danger zones? I don't know enough about the flood zones to try and do such a comparison but it would be interesting to see what is the rule for places down the east coast like Florida and all those little Key Islands. most of those homes are just as expensive as ours and they sit just above sea level and have been hit w/ more storms then we have and are in an area of bigger possible strikes.
George February 13, 2013 at 10:25 PM
The Biggert-Waters Act made FEMA sock it to us, after it went into debt with Katrina, tornadoes and other disasters. The Pres. didn't make the rules, "I have spoken." The $100,000 house elevation requirements and the $30,000-a-year insurance premiums are the result of the cut-govt.-spending mentality behind that new law. Find out what you can do about it at Facebook.com/StopFemaNow and come to a 1-hr. meeting on Feb. 23rd. Save the Shore!
Forked River Piney February 13, 2013 at 10:31 PM
Stop crying Mitt said Fems is immoral yet you crybabys have your hands out Hypocrites send back your SS checks and your medicare cards The world is flat and Super Storm Sandy didn't really happen Where can I get a new Christie flood map? Where is the pom poms for Christie for President what a leader the round guy is lol
Jack Jampel February 14, 2013 at 02:45 AM
No difference! How true!
Gail February 14, 2013 at 04:11 AM
Excellent thought! Need to look at the rest of the country--Who has been hit by a storm and do they have to raise their houses. Comparisons would show us if Fema's rules are uniform or maybe someone doesn't like Easterners. Need an engineer type to do that. If it is determined that there are differences, it would be a good fighting point! This is something that should be brought up at George's meeting. I wish I coiuld attend but am temporarily living in another state.
foggyworld February 14, 2013 at 08:53 PM
Second most expensive storm and yet not one nail has been provided to the homeowners who need the help. Where did all that money go?
proud February 14, 2013 at 09:38 PM
As I understand it, an A zone is an Azone and a V is a V regardless of where you are? Of course that could be an A6 or an A7 etc. These designations are found on the effective FIRM map for that area. The problem that we have here in coastal New Jersey as well as New York is that our FIRM's are being updated and FEMA has to pay off the massive debt of the NFIP. Having had to deal with them continually for the last three plus months leaves no wonder as to why they are so broke/n. The ineptitude runs rampant, and everyone connected wants a slice of the pie. Facebook.com/StopFemaNow
Thetruthteller February 16, 2013 at 03:39 AM
Toms River Township should be ashamed of itself on how it has handled this disaster!!!
Cherry Quay resident February 19, 2013 at 05:10 PM
This has to be stopped ! WE MUST STOP FEMA NOW!!! go to www.stopfemanow.com sign the petition: http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fpetitions.whitehouse.gov%2Fpetition%2Fstop-biggert-waters-and-fema-imposing-impossible-flood-insurance-rates-new-jersey%2F1DklHNNH&h=6AQHlnCdk We can not allow the government to ruin our lives. We all have worked hard to get a home, in area that we love (the shore), and many have based our retirement upon the raising equity in our homes. We can not allow the government to take this away without a FIGHT!!!! Stop crying about it and start FIGHTING! I'm going to the meeting on Saturday; I hope everyone will be there to voice our collective opinion. I'm stopping my reconstruction to be there.
lucille February 19, 2013 at 06:05 PM
where is this meeting I will help fight I went to Long beach island the other day Holgate section this area was hit badly the houses right on the ocean were put in an A zone I only had 2 ft of water now im in a V zone somethong is wrong
proud February 19, 2013 at 07:11 PM
@ Lucille: Where: Belly Busters: 708 Fischer Blvd, Toms River, NJ 08753 | Get Directions » Date: February 23, 2013 Time: 3:00 pm–4:00 pM www.stopfemanow.com
shorecorruption March 29, 2013 at 12:28 PM
Just go to Google Earth look at the bottom,it will give you elevation.


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