(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) The US States of New York and New Jersey need at least 71.3 billion to recover from the devastation wrought by the Superstorm Sandy and prevent similar damage from future storms, according to their latest estimates.
The total, which could grow, came as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the state will need 41.9 billion, including 32.8 billion to repair and restore damaged housing, parks and infrastructure and to cover lost revenue and other expenses. The figure also includes 9.1 billion to mitigate potential damage from future severe weather events, Cuomo said.
Neighboring New Jersey, which saw massive damage to its transit system and coastline, suffered at least 29.4 billion in overall losses, according to a preliminary analysis released by Governor Chris Christie's office Friday. The preliminary cost estimate includes federal aid New Jersey has received so far.
By some measures, Sandy was worse than Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, which tore into the US Gulf Coast in 2005, Cuomo said.
Sandy destroyed 305,000 houses in New York state - a still provisional number that's likely to grow - compared to the 214,700 destroyed in Louisiana by Katrina and Rita.
Sandy also 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.
Sandy made landfall in New Jersey on October 29. It blasted through the Northeastern US, devastating homes, forcing evacuations, crippling power systems and shutting down New York City's subway system for days.
The total cost to the region is still not known as estimates of the damage, as well as future repair and prevention costs, continue to come in from states, cities and counties.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Monday he will ask Congress for 9.8 billion to pay for Sandy costs not covered by insurance or other federal funds.