Superstorm Sandy, which left 37 dead in New Jersey and ravaged the state’s Atlantic coastline, caused $29.4 billion in damage, according to Gov. Chris Christie.
The estimate includes lost property, business revenue and widespread devastation to the state’s mass-transit system, Christie said Friday in a statement. He said the figure, which includes money already received from the federal government, could be revised higher in coming weeks.
“This preliminary number is based on the best available data, field observations and geographical mapping, and supported by expert advice from my cabinet commissioners and an outside consulting company,” Christie said in the statement. “In a short period of time, we put together a comprehensive and responsible estimate.”
Sandy swept ashore near Atlantic City packing hurricane-force winds and pushing floodwaters over barrier islands and into shore communities in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Water levels at New York’s Battery Park crested at almost 13.9 feet (4.2 meters) above the normal high-tide mark, more than 3 feet above the previous record set in 1960.
The storm ripped up boardwalks crucial to New Jersey’s $38 billion-a-year tourism industry, flooded buildings and knocked homes off foundations. Floodwaters also crippled New Jersey Transit, damaging locomotives and rail cars in storage yards as well as control equipment and repair shops.
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