Gov. Cuomo Claims Hurricane Sandy Worse than Hurricane Katrina

by Greg Pollowitz

From Today’s New York Post:

Gov. Cuomo yesterday put the first official price tag on the economic damage inflicted on the state by Hurricane Sandy — a staggering $42 billion, with $19 billion in the city alone.

He argued that the devastation wreaked by the storm statewide was worse than what Hurricane Katrina did to Louisiana in 2005.

“Hurricane Katrina, in many ways, was not as impactful as Hurricane Sandy, believe it or not,” Cuomo said. “Because of the density of New York, the number of people affected, the number of properties affected was much larger in Hurricane Sandy than Hurricane Katrina. This puts the entire conversation, I believe, into focus . . . Now Katrina had a human toll that thankfully we have not paid in this region.”

Unfortunately for the governor, the Post’s Nicole Gelinas is around to fact-check his claim with math:

Yesterday, Bloomberg tallied up the Sandy damage to Gotham: $19 billion.

That number includes $5.7 billion in lost “city product” — money that people didn’t earn or spend in New York because they were waylaid by the storm.

[. . .]

Gov. Cuomo claimed yesterday that Sandy packed a bigger fiscal punch than Katrina. Sorry, no: This is not Katrina when it comes to the proportion of the city damaged.

Katrina knocked more than 9 percent off New Orleans’ regional economy in late 2005 and early 2006. An equivalent hit here would be $60.8 billion in lost business, not $5.7 billion. For that, we can be thankful.

Gelinas then points out that unlike New Orleans, most of New York is business as usual:

Of course, it’s still jarring that Chinese tourists can flock to Louis Vuitton on Fifth Avenue while poor elderly folk huddle in the cold in the Rockaways, but that is what keeps the city budget afloat.

The whole piece here.

Stay tuned as Cuomo tries to ratchet up the rhetoric in the hope of a Katrina-style bailout for New York.

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