New Estimate for Economic Damage From Storm: $50 Billion - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

New Estimate for Economic Damage From Storm: $50 Billion

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The total economic damage from Superstorm Sandy could run as high as $50 billion, according to new estimates from the forecasting firm Eqecat. The new numbers are more than double the firm's previous estimate.

Eqecat said Thursday that its new estimate for economic losses is between $30 billion and $50 billion. The cost to insurance companies could run from $10 billion to $20 billion.

Widespread electric outages will likely push the costs higher than in a typical Category 1 storm, Eqecat said. The lack of subway service in New York City and blocked roadways also led the firm to raise its damage estimate.

Before the storm hit, Eqecat estimated that the total economic losses could range as high as $20 billion and that insured losses could reach $10 billion.

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Con Edison says it is on track to restore power by Saturday in Manhattan, where a quarter of a million homes and businesses are without power.

Downtown Manhattan, which includes the financial district, Chinatown and Little Italy, is still mostly shuttered. People are roaming the streets, looking for food, power and a hot shower. One man fleeing New York by bus today said, "It's dirty, and it's getting a little crazy down there."

Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced today that meals and bottled water are going to be distributed in hard-hit neighborhoods around the city.

Three days after Sandy slammed the mid-Atlantic and the Northeast, the U.S. death toll has climbed to more than 80. More than 4.6 million homes and businesses are still without power.

New York's subways are providing limited service today -- operating only above 34th Street in Manhattan. Flooded tunnels are preventing the restoration of full service.

Motorists trying to get into New York faced long lines of traffic -- and police enforcing a three-person-per-vehicle carpooling requirement. Drivers have also faced long lines at those gas stations that still have fuel, and electricity with which to pump it.

In Hoboken, N.J., across the river from Manhattan, nearly 20,000 people are stranded in their homes by floodwaters.

And large areas of the New Jersey coastline are in ruins, with homes, piers and boardwalks wrecked.   (AP)

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