On October 29th, 2012 the Northeastern United States experienced a devastating natural disaster, known as Hurricane Sandy. This hurricane did not only affect the East Coast, but also the Mid-Atlantic and the United States as a whole. Hurricane Sandy resulted in conditions where people struggled everyday just to live. A very crucial and controversial issue that has been a priority is the impact Sandy left on the United States’ economy.
The outcome Hurricane Sandy left on the East Coast was catastrophic, traumatizing, and heartbreaking. It changed the lives of many; thousands lost their home and over 100 people lost their lives. Those who didn’t lose their home or a loved one were put in distress. People had to strive for days just to continue their daily routine without power or hot water. People also had to live with the damages in their home until they could be fixed. Damages have built up to $62 million. Losses have driven spikes in demand. From July to September, the United States economy grew at an annual rate of 2.7%, but because of the storm it slowed to a weaker growth (Sandy Brings Economic Booms Busts To Northeast) . The negative effects of the northeaster will remain to be terrible and life changing. Now, the United States can only try to recover from the disaster by brainstorming ways of prevention and making things better than how they were before.
As upsetting Hurricane Sandy was, there have been a few beneficial outcomes. It is thought that rebuilding efforts in the northeast could spark the national economy again. New building projects commenced at the expense of others being cancelled. Due to all the disaster and help needed from Sandy, workers were able to have more work. This caused the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits to decrease. Workers having more work again, caused the improvement of the job market. 2012 was able to obtain the second lowest total of unemployment benefits of the year. The United States’ rates on fixed mortgages also decreased from 2.67% to 2.66%. Contractors and analysts also say the recovery effort is a significant effect, as owners of homes and businesses carry out repairs and make improvements.
During this difficult period of time, it also seems to be a difficult time to ask Congress for assistance. The governor of New Jersey wants to make a unified effort with President Obama and Congress to help New Jersey. They want to help support supplements and cannot are not able to wait for the next Congress because the urgency will fade. Officials in affected states have been fighting for recovery money to last for months and requires a series of spending money. Officials predominantly fear of fading as a priority.
Despite the difficulties of asking Congress for aid, the most possible efforts are being made for the recovery movement of Hurricane Sandy. The government’s disaster relief fund has $4.8 billion; this is enough for recovery efforts into early Spring. So far, $2 million have been spent on eleven states. Additional supplements in recovery cost $50 billion but does not meet all of New York’s substantial needs. Administration must come close to meeting the states’ needs in first request. Together New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut were able to seek an estimated amount of $83 billion in aid damage. Some may be covered by private insurance and other funded government programs. Congress is not expected to approve any additional amount of money all at once. President Obama however, plans to ask Congress for approximately $50 billion in additional emergency aid, for affected states (Democrats: Obama To Ask For $50 Billion Sandy Aid). Recovery efforts are now in action and progressing to help those impacted by this natural disaster.
Even with all the recovery money received, other finances are still a controversial issue. Governor Cuomo said the cost of repair substations, tracks, and equipments would be greater than $5 million, with an additional $124 million for lost revenues ((Hurricane Sandy’s Rising Costs). It would cost about $3 billion to restore services and $9 billion to replace and repair. $3.1 billion of that go to New York City because businesses lost $6 billion. In today’s economy, the federal government gave more than $110 billion for Hurricane Katrina. Multiple disasters imposed on by Sandy call for similar generosity (Economy Escaping Funk of Hurricane Sandy).
Efforts in prevention of such terrible damages for the next natural disaster have come into play. Mayor Quinn suggests stricter building costs in low lying areas. Unfortunately, raising water fronts will increase the cost of houses by 10 to 20%. A new project starting is called “soft edges.” This project is a system of reefs, artificial islands, etc. to dull the damaging forces. It is being formed around the city’s perimeter. Sea walls are also being made which is a less ambitious proposal than a harbor storm surge barrier. A new beach fill project is also developing. The cost of this project would be $25 million. The total cost to provide permanent protections would be about $100 million (After Hurricane Sandy, The Costs Of Doing Nothing To Protect New York Come Into Focus).
Hurricane Sandy truly left a deep impact on the United States. It affected citizens with heartache and devastation for either a temporary or a permanent period of time. It also resulted in leaving the economy with sky-high expenses for recovery. Some people benefited with more work, while others are starting their lives all over again. Hurricane Sandy did not only affect the regions it hit, but the United States as a whole. Hopefully our country’s actions for recovery and prevention will prepare us for any future natural disasters.