Sandy Took an $18 Billion Bite Out of New York, According to DiNapoli’s Estimates

Flooding of the Gowanus Canal could require toxicity assessments, according to the comptroller’s report. Photo by Hunter Walker.

Economic costs related to Hurricane Sandy could top $18 billion in New York State, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said today in a statement. Those costs include the disruption of business and loss of property and wealth, though estimates remain in flux due to the continued power outages, especially in lower Manhattan.

“Our daily infrastructure of highways, power, sewer and water—the elements of modern life that we take for granted—have all been altered by this storm,” Mr. DiNapoli said in the statement. “Though the rebuilding effort may offset some of these losses, we must continue to monitor what the long-term economic impact to New York will be.”

The catastrophe modeling firm Eqecat is estimating total U.S. economic costs from Hurricane Sandy at between $30 to $50 billion.

Some other highlights from Mr. DiNapoli’s report:

Despite the closure of U.S. markets for two days at the beginning of the week, ongoing disruption to the financial sector is expected to be limited, though the importance of the industry to the state’s economy would amplify the effects of further disruption in Sandy’s wake.

The storm may prevent New York City’s tourism industry from breaking records for spending and attendance, while the state—already projecting total tax revenue $436 million below initial projections—is like to see reduced revenue due to the storm.

Damage to infrastructure, meanwhile, including highways, airports, seaports and sewer and water systems is estimated in the tens of billions of dollars, though much of those costs will be covered by insurance or federal aid.

And flooding may raise health concerns, including potential need for toxicity assessments at such sites as Newtown Creek or the Gowanus Canal.

Sandy Took an $18 Billion Bite Out of New York, According to DiNapoli’s Estimates