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$16 Billion damages from Ike to wreak more havoc on economy
"It will take months or more to tally Hurricane Ike's financial toll, but one thing is clear: Almost nobody in its path escaped unscathed.
"'Every industry has been impacted by this storm,' said Jeff Sjostrom, president of the Galveston Economic Development Partnership.
"The storm carried hurricane-force winds as far north as Kentucky — which suffered its widest power outage in history — and driving rain clear into New England. More than 500,000 people remained without power Friday in Kentucky and Ohio; schools in Louisville, Ky., were to open Monday after Ike closed them for a week.
"Risk Management Assessment Inc., which quantifies risks for insurance companies, estimated Ike's impact would land in the low end of the $6 billion to $16 billion in insured losses that the firm initially predicted.
"In Houston, where the booming energy industry has kept the nation's fourth-largest city economically stable in a nationwide slump, the outlook was downright positive. The city's port survived with minimal damage, and the Gulf of Mexico's oil and gas production barely took a dent.
"'I'd rather be in Houston right now than Wall Street,' said Leo Linbeck III, a Rice University professor."
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