$45Billion Irene ‘One of Most Expensive Hurricanes’
But while Hurricane Irene did not strike New York with the ferocity many expected, the city has been dealt a major blow nonetheless – the huge cost of a weekend of anxious preparation away from work.
After hundreds of thousands fled Manhattan this weekend, Irene arrived last night as more of a heavy thunder storm than a devastating hurricane – an irony which will not be lost on the numerous business owners who shut up shop for fear of devastation.
University of Maryland professor Peter Morici said up to $45billion of damage has been caused on the East Coast, factoring in physical damage and the loss of two days of economic activity.
In the city, projected winds of 75mph hit at closer to 50mph and while streets in lower Manhattan briefly flooded, the water receded shortly afterwards.
In an afternoon press conference, mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that the earlier evacuation of hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers from their homes would be lifted by as early as 3pm.
As Irene looked set to batter Coney Island last night, there were widespread fears the winds would cause devastation to the historic town.
The promenade of wooden stalls on the beach, however, appear to have been relatively unharmed after the hurricane eased to a tropical storm.
Coney Island boardwalk landmarks like the red parachute drop tower, the Cyclone roller coaster, and Dino’s Wonder Wheel all appeared intact this morning.
The usually bustling fair ground and beach boardwalk were deserted as the storm hit but, while the town will suffer from the temporary lack of business, any fears of widespread damage appear not to have been lived up to.
Irene made landfall at Coney Island this morning – the first time the eye of a cyclone has directly touched the five boroughs since 1893
He also declared the Staten Island ferry would reopen at 3pm and while further checks have to be performed on the subway system, some service may be restored by rush hour in the morning.
The mayor added that the emergency had ‘brought out the best in New Yorkers’ and noted that police had made 300 fewer arrests than usual during the evening of the storm – a surprise upshot of the dramatics.
While reassuring New Yorkers that the City would be working like usual by the morning, Mr Bloomberg warned commuters not to expect too much from a system which has still had to recover from a brief onslaught of rain and wind.
‘It’s going to be tough,’ he said. ‘You’re going to have a difficult commute in the morning’.
Speaking later in the afternoon, President Barack Obama added that he wanted ‘to underscore that the impact of the storm’ would be felt for a while.
Tomorrow will be tough for New Yorkers returning to work as days of inactivity have dealt the economy a serious blow.
It has been estimated that the storm will have cost the East Coast up to $45billion, according to Peter Morici, a professor at University of Maryland.
The prediction included $20 billion in damages and the accumulation of two days’ loss of economic activity. – Mail Online
Reported by this ministry, as informed by Yahweh’s holy family August 26th, 2011: This will be such a crushing for not only the loss of life, but a huge hit to the U.S. economy as no money will be available to rebuild what is about to topple and be brought asunder.