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Hurricane Sandy Damages Estimated to be $20 Billion

Early estimates suggest that Sandy inflicted some $20 billion worth of damages throughout her brief life. Tens of millions of this damage was incurred in Florida, sources say. The storm also claimed the life of nearly 200 people. Sandy was particularly destructive because due to extraordinary size and destructive winds. It started out like most hurricanes, growing from a tropical storm in the Caribbean and then moving north. However, as the hurricane grew in size it pushed further north, posing threats to states that are rarely affronted by such storms. The hurricane, referred to as a super storm by many news sources, swept the eastern coast of the United States, hammering states such as Florida, New Jersey, and New York with torrential rainfall and devastating winds.

New estimates out of Florida show that Hurricane Sandy caused nearly $25 million in damages to areas and structures along the shores of Brevard County. On Tuesday, a County Commissioner declared a state of emergency in the area. One day later, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection presented an “emergency final order.” Officials warned of damages on local structures, including bridges, piers, and docks, for which they are reportedly seeking government-issued emergency funds to help with cleanup and repair.

According to an official from the Brevard County’s Natural Resources Management Office, Hurricane Sandy swept away an estimated $15 million worth of sand from Army Corps of Engineers works sites throughout the county. The storm also inflicted an estimated $10 million of damages to ocean banks located along Brevard County’s beaches. The protective banks cover around 20 miles of land and were located along the southern beach regions, including Satellite Beach. They were built after a similar storm destroyed beaches in the area in 2004. The official also estimated that the storm caused $750,000 worth of damages to beachside pavilions, bridges, and boat ramps.

City officers are still working to get estimates on the costs of damages done to privately owned buildings. The county official says work is still underway to identify how much damage private structures located along the county’s beaches suffered. The private structures are mostly hotels and seaside resorts, including the Sebastian Inn and the Sand Shoes Beach Hotel; they also include other hotels located along the southern beach region. According to reports, city officers are working with around 60 landowners to aid them with the legal processes of filing for compensation with their insurance companies and beginning to reconstruct their properties. The physical damage to these properties notwithstanding, the loss of tourists due to the storm continues to plague the vacation-geared businesses in the area.

County officials, including the county’s interim manager of emergency management, announced their findings Thursday evening to the Brevard County Commission. The officials say they have filed for funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to aid in the repairs. Officials in counties such as Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties also announced that they are filing for emergency funds to help repair the damage done to their constituencies. Even once funds are acquired, though, it will be weeks or even months before things are back to normal for many.

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