The Cost of Hurricane Sandy in Perspective

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The havoc Sandy is wrecking may cost some $20 billion in economic damage, according to risk firm Eqecat Inc. It's a lot of money—so much, in fact, that the costs places Sandy in the top 10 most expensive hurricanes ever. Comparing Sandy with numbers from the National Hurricane Center's top ten costliest hurricanes list, Sandy places sixth when numbers are adjusted to 2010 dollars. NHC combines insured loss with National Flood Insurance Program figures to calculate its list. Sandy's costs will include repairing the New York subway system and any wind and rain damage to buildings.

Many of the most expensive hurricanes all happened pretty recently, with seven of hurricanes in the chart happening after 2000, making the argument that our storms are indeed getting more intense and causing more damage. Hurricane Katrina, of course, beat out all other hurricanes with a whopping $108.4 billion in damages when adjusted to 2010 dollars. Sandy's $20 billion price tag is still just an estimate, but if she comes close to costing that much, she'll enter the pantheon of horribly expensive natural disasters. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.