Katrina Vs. Sandy

Super-storm Sandy had more total energy landfall compared to Hurricane Katrina.  The horrific storm sent flooding in New Jersey and New York, but it was almost perfectly predicted well in advance.  It was more extreme than the average person might expect from a minimal hurricane.  Sandy’s large size was the reason for its large amount of destruction.  The governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, said Sandy was worse than Katrina.  He was ridiculed for his comment, but his justification for this comment was “even though Katrina killed more people, because of the dense population of New York and New Jersey Sandy effected more people and places”.

Sandy destroyed 305,000 houses in New York state compared to the 214,700 destroyed in Louisiana by Katrina and Rita. Sandy caused nearly 2.2 million power outages at its peak in the state, compared to 800,000 from Katrina and Rita in Louisiana, and impacted 265,300 businesses compared to 18,700.  Sandy damaged or destroyed homes and businesses, more than 72,000 in New Jersey alone. In Cuba, the number of damaged homes has been estimated at 130,000 to 200,000.

Sandy is being blamed for about $62 billion in damage and other losses in the U.S., the large majority of it is in New York and New Jersey.  It’s the second costliest storm in U.S. history after  Hurricane Katrina, which caused $128 billion in damages.  Sandy caused at least $315 million in damage in the Caribbean.

The death toll of Sandy was not as large as Katrina.  1,833 people died during Katrina and 125 people in the United States.  That includes 60 in New York, 48 of them in New York City, 34 in New Jersey and 16 in Pennsylvania. At least seven people died in West Virginia, where the storm dropped heavy snow. Sandy killed 71 people in the Caribbean, including 54 in Haiti.

 Overall, it’s hard to compare two tragedies. On one hand Katrina killed more people, but on the  other Sandy effected more people and places.  Katrina’s wrath cost more than Sandy, but she was close behind.
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