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Factbox: Cost estimates of Storm Irene on states
August 30, 2011 / 10:14 PM / 6 years ago

Factbox: Cost estimates of Storm Irene on states

(Reuters) - The following are preliminary estimates of costs and damage left in the wake of Hurricane Irene on a state-by-state basis of affected areas.


The city’s chief financial officer received a request from the mayor for $10 million from the city’s emergency contingency fund for recovery from both Irene and the earthquake that hit the city earlier in the week. The money will be released quickly, according to a CFO spokesman.

Mayor Vincent Gray said that the nation’s capital “fared relatively well.”

The dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial was postponed from Sunday, during the brunt of Irene’s deluge. Lost tourism-related revenue will not show up in the city’s sales tax reports until October.


State officials in North Carolina are assessing damage and are not yet issuing broad estimates of losses, though farmers and seaside businesses are among those bracing for possibly substantial financial fallout.

Farming and agribusiness in North Carolina are a $70 billion industry and 75 percent of the industry is in the state’s eastern counties hit by the storm just at the start of the harvest season.

Hotel operators, restaurants and vacation-home renters in North Carolina’s Outer Banks worried that tourists in large numbers will skip a Labor Day-weekend visit to the resort region, even as parks and other attractions reopened.

“Flooding remains a serious concern for a number of areas down east,” North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue said Monday. “Homes and buildings are at risk along portions of the Northeast Cape Fear and Tar rivers.”


As a result of the record heavy rains caused by Hurricane Irene, there is historic flooding occurring in the region that has damaged numerous roads and bridges, destroyed 500 to 600 homes and devastated thousands of acres of farmland.

On Tuesday, New York State formally asked the federal government for an “expedited major disaster declaration” to cope with the widespread damage caused by Hurricane Irene, with at least 26 counties still devastated, the governor said.

“The public assistance would reimburse communities for the costs incurred for debris removal and emergency protective actions taken in response to Hurricane Irene,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement.


New Jersey is one of the hardest-hit states, partly because it is so vulnerable to flooding. The price tag for damage could be substantial, perhaps in the “billions of dollars,” Governor Chris Christie told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday.

On Tuesday, Christie asked the federal government for the same expedited disaster declaration for the state as New York.

Atlantic City casino resorts, closed ahead of the storm, reopened on Monday and Christie, who ordered tourists and residents of vulnerable barrier islands to evacuate, tried to lure them back.

Shore hotels, restaurants, fishing boats and others see their profits rise and fall with the weather, and Labor Day, often one of their most profitable weeks in summer, is Monday. Still, in a sign of how much damage was done, some localities in coastal areas have not been able to reopen offices.


No estimates available


No estimates available


Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency spokesman Peter Judge said they have no idea what the cost estimates are at this point. It will only be the latter part of this week that preliminary damage assessment teams venture out to start to put an early dollar figure on the hurricane damage.

Between last Wednesday and the end of today, Cape Cod and the Islands are estimated to have lost about two-thirds of their normal hospitality business, amounting to about $35 million, according to Wendy Northcross, CEO of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce. Northcross said that some of the losses are being made up as residents who lost power seek out hotels, and restaurants are packed.

”I hate to say it, but we are also getting people who say, “We were planning on going to Vermont but we’re thinking of changing our plans.”


It is a little too early to assess the impact on tourism, the second largest industry in Vermont after agriculture.

“We’re still gathering that information and assessing it,” said Vicky Parra Tebbetts, senior vice president of the Vermont Chamber of Commerce. “I don’t anticipate whole towns are going to be stranded and cut off from the rest of the world for months on end, but the long-term repair of roads is another issue.”

Jerry Goldberg, Executive Director of the Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce, one of the areas in Vermont hit hard by flooding, said that most of downtown Brattleboro businesses will not be affected by the flooding in terms of lost inventory or direct impact. But he said tourism will be affected for a long time because people will have difficulty moving around the state.

“The real devastation is to our roads and bridges and access and egress issues,” he said. “The impact of all of that is yet to be felt.”


Rhode Island Governor spokeswoman Christine Hunsinger said it is still early and she does not have any cost/damage estimates. She expects a briefing but could give no timeframe.


No estimates available


The state’s emergency management agency told Reuters damage assessment teams are going out and it will have a better idea about when estimates will be available by the end of the week.


No estimates available


No estimates available

Reporting by Joan Gralla in New York, Lisa Lambert in Washington, Michael Connor in Miami and Toni Clarke and Lauren Keiper in Boston; Editing by James Dalgleish

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