Hurricane Ida: Here’s What Experts Estimate It’ll Cost to Clean up Damage in Northeast

by Courtney Blackann

After Hurricane Ida ripped its way through Louisiana, leaving nothing but destruction and debris, it steadily moved north. The damages compounded, with flash flooding and more blows to infrastructure in New York and New Jersey. Effects from the Category 4 storm are estimated to be around $40 billion to repair, with the price rising, officials said.

Ida made landfall last Sunday. Winds around 150 miles per hour and storm surges pushed inland, causing a major blackout in New Orleans. The storm also flooded streets and homes, forcing residents to take shelter in nearby cities. While the storm quickly moved north, its lasting impact will be anything but brief.

According to The New York Post, cleanup continues in the affected states, with record rainfall, tornadoes and flooding pushing their way through the northeast.

Additionally, many homeowners are still reeling with flooded basements and irreparable car damage. Vehicles submerged in water and tornado damages to homes and commercial buildings have the price of clean up rising. Coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic, these costs will only continue to rise as building materials have skyrocketed in price.

“It’s going to take a long while to count the cost for all of the damage to property, infrastructure, vehicles, and other facilities,” Steve Bowen, head of catastrophe insight at Aon, told Yale Climate Connections.

“Ida’s impact across the South was already going to run deep into the billions, but there is no question that the flood and convective storm damage in the Northeast is going to add direct financial loss costs with many zeroes to the final total.”

New Yorkers React to Hurricane Ida Effects

While some residents seemed to lighten the mood by posting pictures of themselves floating down the flooded streets, others didn’t react as well.

Both tornadoes and thunderstorms gripped the northeast. The flash flooding caused the death of at least 25 people in New Jersey and 13 people in New York.

One video posted on Twitter showed New Yorkers stepping off a bus into knee-high waters as they tried to make their way through the city. The treacherous conditions have made transportation difficult as people try to continue on in their daily life.

Hurricane Ida left thousands stranded, including one drill ship in the Gulf with no rescue plan in place. The city of New Orleans has thousands without power. Almost a week after the storm made landfall, cleanup efforts are underway. Many are still taking cover in nearby cities, not knowing what they’ll return to.

The storm is one of the strongest ever to make landfall, drawing comparisons to the 2006 Hurricane Katrina that devastated New Orleans. While officials estimate the damages to be upwards of $40 billion, it’s unlikely an exact figure will be known until next week.