Irene to Make List of Top 10 Priciest US Disasters

And a lot of it won't be covered by insurance
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 31, 2011 11:03 AM CDT
Irene to Make List of Top 10 Priciest US Disasters
Chester Vickers surveys the bedroom of his girlfriend's daughter, which was heavily damaged by a tree that fell in high winds caused by Hurricane Irene in Port Deposit, Md., Monday, Aug. 29, 2011.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Think Hurricane Irene was overhyped? Well, it looks like it’ll wind up being one of the 10 costliest disasters in US history, analysts tell the New York Times—and a lot of the damage won’t be covered by insurance. Industry estimates peg the storm’s costs at between $7 billion and $10 billion, with most of that due to flooding, which isn’t covered under many standard insurance policies.

The estimates include costs from drowned cotton and tobacco crops, widespread power outages, property damage, and more. “This is going to end up being a bigger event than people think it is,” Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy said. “All of this is massive in scope.” Some states saw critical infrastructure damage—Vermont, for example, lost 35 bridges. On the bright side, rebuilding could create around 42,000 jobs, one expert projects. The bad news: The same expert says that the losses from just one day of storm-caused business disruption could lead to the elimination of 62,000 jobs. (Read more Hurricane Irene stories.)

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