Blizzard will cost up to $3 billion
NEW YORK — The storm that hit the East Coast over the weekend likely cost businesses and residents about $2.5 billion to $3 billion.
That estimate comes from Moody’s Analytics, which estimates most of the cost of the storm is from businesses that lost sales and employees that lost wages when they could not get to work. Those losses were partly offset by people who earned extra wages due to the storm, such as workers who got overtime for plowing roads and parking lots.
Also, this storm’s damage to property and infrastructure was limited, according to AIR Worldwide, which comes up with estimates for insured losses, although some flooding was reported, particularly along the New Jersey shore.
All things considered, the first big snowstorm of 2016 was relatively inexpensive.
This weekend’s $3 billion loss estimate is peanuts compared to the $26 billion in lost business and wages caused by Superstorm Sandy in 2012, according to Moody’s Analytics. And Sandy caused an additional $45 billion in physical damage.
The most expensive storm on record was Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which cost businesses and individuals $28 billion in lost sales and wages, in addition to the $129 billion in physical damage.
This storm’s impact on businesses was somewhat limited by the fact that worst of it came on a weekend, though many businesses remained closed Monday, especially in the region around Washington D.C. Businesses that were affected included Broadway shows in New York, which were closed for both matinees and evening performances on Saturday.