Nov 8 - By the time Sandy came ashore near Atlantic City, N.J., on Oct. 29, it was no longer a hurricane: The National Weather Service had reclassified it as a post-tropical cyclone. Yet a storm by any other name is just as harsh, and the floods, winds, property destruction, power outages, gas shortages, and transportation shutdowns Sandy inflicted on the Northeast U.S. were on a massive scale-as was the loss of life, which totaled over 100 dead, many in flood-prone sections of New York City. Sandy generated insured losses of as much as $20 billion, according to early estimates, and total economic damages of up to $50 billion. The high end of those estimates would make Sandy, in real terms, the third-costliest storm in U.S. history, after hurricanes Katrina in 2005 and Andrew in 1992. "Although the storm hit the nation's most densely populated region, strong advance planning by local, state, and federal authorities helped mitigate its impact," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Richard Siderman in a report published today titled "Sandy Blows Through The Northeast With Only A Minimal Ratings Impact." According to the report, Sandy will likely have no near-term impact on ratings on investment-grade infrastructure, transportation, communication and local government issuers, and only a limited impact on re/insurers. Still, certain issuers, both public and private, could come under pressure over time. The report is available to subscribers of RatingsDirect on the Global Credit Portal at www.globalcreditportal.com. If you are not a RatingsDirect subscriber, you may purchase a copy of the report by calling (1) 212-438-7280 or sending an e-mail to email@example.com. Ratings information can also be found on Standard & Poor's public Web site by using the Ratings search box located in the left column at www.standardandpoors.com.