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Irene damage in billions, less than feared

West Harlem in New York wasn't impacted much during Hurricane Irene. / Ennuipoet (Flickr)

Insured damage from Irene will range between $2 billion and $3 billion, and the total losses will likely be about $7 billion, according to preliminary estimates by Kinetic Analysis Corp., a consulting firm.

Both figures are less than had been feared, a bit of reassuring news for a fragile economy.

Still, the long-term costs of Irene will likely grow as storm-ravaged areas deal with lost business, insurance claims, dislocated workers and transportation disruptions " costs that will take months to fully calculate .

The preliminary estimate from Kinetic Analysis, based in Silver Spring, Md., suggests that Irene will have caused far less insured damage than the $6 billion the industry paid out after Hurricane Isabel struck the East Coast in 2003.

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