The price tag of the damage Sandy caused to New Jersey has been calculated at roughly $37 billion, of which the state ultimately expects to receive $20 billion to $25 billion in federal aid. Private insurance companies will help ease the burden, but individuals, businesses, and municipalities could still be on the hook for $8 billion to $13 billion in losses, according to state officials. And costs could go even higher.
A new report titled Extreme Weather, Extreme Costs speculates that once factors like loss of economic activity and tourism dollars, borrowing costs, infrastructure repairs, and storm mitigation measures are taken into account, the cost to residents could be billions or even tens of billions more than previously estimated.
The paper was produced by US Strong, a group calling for the creation of a federal “Extreme Weather Relief and Protection Fund” to be funded by a carbon tax. According to the report, the shortfall will need to be made up with “hard-earned savings, cuts in other spending, mortgage refinances, loans, and other means.”