Hurricane Sandy left a $650 Million bill for the 65,000 boats lost or damaged in the great storm. Sandy surpassed Irene as the most destructive Hurricane since Insurer BoatUS started keeping records in 1966. Last Years major Hurricane Irene racked up $500 Million in damages, while previous hurricanes Wilma and Katrina together caused $700 million in damages. Most of the damage was centered around the Tri-State area in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Nearly 60,000 of the damaged boats came from this area, the remainder came from other areas on the eastern seaboard and the Great Lakes area.
Scott Croft of BoatUS had this to say: “Like we said before – we’ve never seen anything like it, Sandy was such a huge geographic area — 900 to 1,000 miles wide at one point. The topography of where the storm hit the hardest played a major role. The lowlands in the tri-state area have little elevation above high tide. So when you take that topography and combine it with a record surge of 14 feet there was no place for those boats to go except up off their blocking and out of their cradles and into yards, other marinas and neighborhoods.”
The storm struck at lunar high tide which allowed for a massive tidal surge, which set records in many places, including Lower Manhattan where it rose to 13.8 Feet, 4 feet higher than the previous record. The extra high surge was responsible for most of the damage, as is typical in most hurricanes. Many of the boats damaged were set up for winter with their drains unplugged which led to their ultimate demise as they got floated in the storm surge, took on water and sank. The one silver lining to this disaster is the work that will need to be done to rebuild, repair and replace boats lost in the storm will help jump start the boating industry.