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Sandy Was Second-Costliest Hurricane In U.S.

NEWARK, N.J. (WJZ) -- The National Hurricane Center completes a final tally of the destruction from Superstorm Sandy.

Alex DeMetrick reports the study confirms only Hurricane Katrina caused a greater dollar loss.

If Sandy had hit just 80 miles further south, much of Maryland would have been devastated. Not that torrential rain and hurricane winds didn't cause damage because they did.

"Sandy cost the residents of Maryland about $41 million," said Ken Mallette, MEMA Executive Director.

That dollar loss was rolled into a final national damage report released by the National Hurricane Center.

The Hurricane Center found 72 people died as a direct result of Sandy, and 87 others died from indirect causes like hypothermia and carbon monoxide poisonings triggered by power outages. Damage is set at $50 billion, with 650,000 homes damaged or destroyed.

"We need help," a woman said.

In Maryland, Eastern Shore communities took the worst beating and have finally been approved for federal disaster relief.

"You've got to look at the level of damage that we had, the level of income in this area -- which is extremely low -- and take all that into consideration," said P.J. Purnell, Mayor of Crisfield.

And while Maryland's Emergency Management Agency says all counties qualified for federal help, most will go to Somerset County.

"Over 330 homes that either had major damage or were totally destroyed," Mallette said.

And one final pair of numbers that grew with the wind:

"There was this low rumbling most of the night and some of the trees were really whipping," a homeowner said.

"Then about an hour later the power went completely out," said another.

Along the East Coast, 8 million lost power--600,000 in Maryland.

While Sandy now goes into the record books, the start of the next hurricane season is only about three months away.

"Always preparing for the next event," Mallette said.

According to the National Hurricane Center, Superstorm Sandy was the deadliest storm to hit the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast in 40 years.

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