By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
The largest Hurricane in the Atlantic in recorded history plowed into some of the most densely populated communities in this country dumping storm surge, massive rain fall, tremendous wind, and further inland a massive blizzard. New York City and New Jersey are flooded, Maryland and West Virginia are digging out from a blizzard and severe winds have affected communities as far away as Chicago where 60 mph winds are driving 22’ waves on the Great Lakes. 50 Americans are reported killed from the storm and that number is likely to climb as first responders are able to search flooded homes.
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) on Facebook asked Alabama residents to support the relief effort. The Governor wrote, “Folks along the East Coast supported Alabama after the April 27, 2011, tornado outbreak. I encourage Alabamians to return the favor and help people who’ve suffered from the effects of Hurricane Sandy.”
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said that the damage to the Jersey shore,”Is beyond anything I thought I’d ever see. It is a devastating sight right now.”
Alabama National Guardsmen could be called in to assist with recovery efforts. Gen. Frank J. Grass said in a written statement, “We are monitoring Hurricane Sandy closely and coordinating with our federal, state and local partners to ensure a coordinated and efficient response. Units across the National Guard are making the necessary preparations to respond to the needs of any states affected by Hurricane Sandy; rest assured the National Guard is poised and ready to provide proven responders and capabilities.”
Alabama Power has already dispatched resources to assist in the restoration of power. Over eight and a half million homes have no power as of press time. Candidate for Alabama House District 30 Mack Butler (R) from Rainbow City said on Facebook that his electrical contracting firm, Butler Electric, has sent crews to the disaster.
The Alabama Red Cross has sent eight emergency response vehicles and 16 volunteers to the region and is putting more resources on standby. The Red Cross is asking for people to donate blood because blood collections have stopped in the populous areas affected by the storm.
The senior vice president of Disaster Services for the Red Cross. Charley Shimanski said, ““This storm is dangerous and it’s critical to follow the advice of local emergency officials. If people are told to evacuate, evacuate. This storm is dangerous and it’s critical to follow the advice of local emergency officials. If people are told to evacuate, they need to do it. The Red Cross has shelters open and will be opening more throughout the day. Hundreds of disaster workers are ready with relief supplies and emergency vehicles in place to help. This will be a large, costly relief response and we need help now,” Shimanski said. “People can help by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief online, by text or by phone.”.
NPR is reporting that total economic losses from the storm could exceed $30 billion. Catastrophe risk modeling firm Eqecat estimates that Sandy could exceed $10 billion in insured losses. More than 1 million homes have been evacuated and those people are living in hotels, with family, or in shelters.
Insurance adjusters from all over the nation are en route to the affected areas to begin calculating the losses. AIG alone has over 2,500 people taking calls from policy holders.
Robert Hunter the Director of Insurance for the Consumer Federation of America estimates that several hundred thousand homeowners are likely to file claims for wind damage and tens of thousands will file claims for flood damage. Homeowners’ policies will pay for wind damage but not for flooding and storm surge. The Federal Flood Insurance Program insures against flooding. The program has over $45 billion in insured properties in New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut areas where Sandy came ashore.