(TNS) - Nearly six years after Superstorm Sandy devastated the New York City area, the city still lags on international standards for storm-resistant building construction codes, according to an industry survey released Wednesday.
But while hurricane damage is less of a risk upstate, residential building codes are stronger because they're based on newer standards, dating from 2015 and applied upstate since 2017. So newer structures upstate likely are stronger.
New York City, which runs its own separate building code system, now relies on 2009 construction standards, although changes made after Hurricane Sandy struck in 2012 required new buildings to better resist strong winds and rain.
Done in 2014, those changes brought city codes up to 2009 construction standards, know as the International Residential Code (IRC).
That was the conclusion reached in a report by the not-for-profit Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, which is supported by property insurance and resinsurance companies.
Out of 18 coastal states in the eastern U.S., New York ranked 12th, largely because of the New York City building code situation. Out of a scale of 100 possible points — based on factors including building codes, state and local code enforcement, and licensing and educational requirements for officials and contractors — New York scored 64.
That was behind New Jersey (90), Connecticut (89), Rhode Island (87), and Massachusetts (81).
Like New York, states that scored lowest in the survey, including Maine (54), New Hampshire (46), Georgia (68), Texas (34), Mississippi (28), Alabama (27) and Delaware (17), have no mandatory statewide building code.
The institute's own headquarters, located in Tampa, Florida, is a disaster-resistant structure made of reinforced concrete and designed to withstand high wind speeds. The building is also located out of a floodplain and features impact-resistant windows, and impact- and pressure-rated entry doors.
Florida scored highest in the survey, with 95 points.
In 2012, Superstorm Sandy caused an estimated $19 billion in damage to New York City during Oct. 28-29. The storm was unusual as a late-season hurricane, that combined with a Nor'easter at high tide with a full moon, making it the largest such storm ever recorded in the Atlantic basin.
While damage to the Capital Region and elsewhere was much more limited, many regional firms that specialized in repair and recovery of damaged property were overwhelmed by requests coming from the hurricane-impacted areas.
Afterward, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg told Reuters that total damages included an estimated $4.5 billion in costs to city agencies, including $800 million for street reconstruction.
About half of the total damage was covered by private insurance or the Federal Emergency Management Agency, but the rest was not.
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