TribLIVE

| USWorld

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Deep freeze could cost U.S. $5B

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, 10:09 p.m.
 

MINNEAPOLIS — Hunkering down at home rather than going to work, canceling thousands of flights and repairing burst pipes from the Midwest to the Southeast have a price. By one estimate, about $5 billion.

The country may be warming up from the polar vortex, but the bone-chilling cold, snow and ice that gripped much of the country — affecting about 200 million people — brought about the biggest economic disruption delivered by the weather since Superstorm Sandy in 2012, said Evan Gold, senior vice president at Planalytics, a business weather intelligence company in suburban Philadelphia.

While the impact came nowhere close to Sandy, which caused an estimated $65 billion in property damage alone, the deep freeze's impact happened from its breadth.

“There's a lot of economic activity that didn't happen,” Gold said.

Major airlines, which canceled about 20,000 flights starting Jan. 2, lost anywhere from $50 million to $100 million, said Helane Becker, an analyst with Cowen and Co. in New York.

School closures took their own toll, keeping home parents who couldn't find alternatives for their kids.

The insurance industry has yet to estimate costs, but Robert Hartwig, president of the Insurance Information Institute in New York, said insurers plan for about $1.4 billion in winter storm catastrophe losses in any given year.“We certainly know there is an epidemic of frozen and burst pipes this week,” Hartwig said.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. GOP hopefuls take on illegal immigration in debate preview
  2. Heavy rain, flooding soak Tampa Bay area
  3. Realistic toy guns sold to N.Y. residents spur fines of more than $300K for online retailers
  4. Planned Parenthood escapes punishment on pair of fronts
  5. Hurricane Guillermo downgraded to tropical storm
  6. Hitchhiking robot’s journey west cut short in Philly
  7. Jury eyes execution as option for Colorado movie theater shooter
  8. Texas Attorney General Paxton accused of lying to investors
  9. Man killed in Mississippi suspected in shooting of suspect’s mother
  10. Cooler weather helps crews battling Calif. wildfire
  11. Fiat Chrysler to buy back more than 500K Ram pickups