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A complex task in tallying Sandy’s death, damage

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Superstorm Sandy claimed more than 180 lives and can be blamed for at least $65 billion in damage. But those numbers are not simple to calculate.

In two different reports, the federal government has reported the number of deaths at 117 and 159. An Associated Press survey of state and local officials responsible for tracking deaths found 182 attributed directly or indirectly to the storm.

The government’s estimate of economic damage from the storm is $65 billion. Including inflation, that would make it the second costliest cyclone in the U.S. since 1900.

But researchers say past storms would have been more expensive if there had been modern development patterns at the time they struck.