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Sunday
Aug282011

Hurricane Irene: Billions of Dollars in Losses Expected

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Hurricane Irene's destructive path through 10 East Coast states left an estimated $7 billion to $13 billion of damage in its wake -- without even accounting for economic losses.

Downed trees and other wind damage could total about $5 billion in personal claims, while flood damage could total about $2 billion in claims, according to a statement released by the Consumer Federation of America. The figure is significantly lower than that of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the statement noted.

On the high end of estimates, University of Maryland professor Peter Morici said $20 billion of damage and economic losses could be felt throughout the weeks after the storm, and Maryland-based Kinetic Analysis Corporation estimated the damage at $13 billion.

Morici noted that the economic losses from closed businesses and transportation throughout the region could increase that number by another $20 billion in the coming days.

Officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency said it was to early for federal damage estimates.

With more than 11,000 flights canceled and train service around the region suspended indefinitely, travelers will begin the waiting game to get out of town.

Airports in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine are all expected to reopen Monday, while officials at Philadelphia airport said some flights might begin to arrive late Sunday, though departures will still be suspended.

In Philadelphia, subways, busses, and trolleys began to reopen on Sunday, though regional rail service remained suspended.

Mass transit in and around New York City were expected to remain at least partially closed until midday Monday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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