Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who has his eyes set on the presidency, has puffed himself up enormously by declaring on Monday that while Hurricane Katrina was deadlier than Hurricane Sandy, the latter storm was “more impactful” over all and “affected many, many more people and places than Katrina.” Ratcheting up his rhetoric so that he could be seen as the heroic governor of the battered state, Cuomo bloviated that Hurricane Sandy had a greater economic impact, destroyed or damaged more units of housing, affected more businesses and caused more customers to lose power.
Not so fast, Mr. Fast-Track-To-The-Presidency.
Let’s go to the stats.
People killed: Katrina 1,833; Sandy, slightly more than 200.
Housing units damaged or destroyed: Katrina, 1.2 million; Sandy, 380,000.
Total cost: Katrina, $148 billion; Sandy, $71 billion.
Insured losses: Katrina, $48.7 billion: Sandy, $16 to $22 billion.
Homes without power: Katrina, 3 million; Sandy, 8.51 million.
FEMA Applications approved: Katrina, 738,318: Sandy, 465,000.
The long and the short of it is that Katrina killed more people, destroyed more housing, and cost more. The only way Sandy superseded Katrina was in the number of homes that lost power. Cuomo’s transparent attempt to ascend to power by exaggerating what was already catastrophic is tasteless and just pours salt into the wounds of the people who suffered from Katrina.