FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Experts: NE Hurricane Could Cripple Region, US Economy

Meteorologists believe that weather patterns during this hurricane season could spawn a storm that could strike the northeast coast of the US. And if that happened, the consequences would be devastating.

In a recent meeting between hurricane experts and insurance representatives, attendees heard that a hurricane of category 3 strength or higher making landfall in central New Jersey (and nearby Manhattan) could cause upwards of $200 billion in damage to some of the nation's most valuable real estate. Not to mention countless lives shattered and lost, and the colossal economic disruption caused by effectively shutting down the world's most important business center for days or even weeks.

Such a disaster would be the largest in American history -- twice as great as 9/11 and three times that of Hurricane Katrina. Some in the insurance industry concede that much of the destruction would not be covered by insurance, and speculate that the US economy might take years or even decades to recover. Worst of all, few people and municipalities in the northeastern US are prepared for a hurricane.

If warmer weather increases the likelihood of powerful hurricanes reaching the Northeast, global warming may well make them an ongoing threat, just as they are in Florida and the Gulf Coast.

Source: CBS News