Washington-One storm could end up costing almost as much as two wars. Although estimates of Hurricane Katrina”s staggering toll on the treasury are highly imprecise, costs are certain to climb to $200 billion in the coming weeks. The final accounting could approach the more than $300 billion spent in four years to fight in Afghanistan and Iraq, The Associated Press
Analysts inside and outside government agree that the $62 billion that Washington has spent so far was merely the first installment of perhaps an unparalleled sum.
"I cannot put a cost figure on it," Vice President Dick Cheney said Thursday in a visit to the hard-hit states.
The government never has dealt with a disaster of this scale: 90,000 square miles of the Gulf Coast affected, with hundreds of thousands of people displaced and an entire metropolitan area under water.