LONG BRANCH, N.J., July 23 (UPI) -- A New Jersey hospital said it is expecting a baby boom -- a 35 percent increase in births over last year -- as a result of Hurricane Sandy.
The Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch said 500 births are expected from the middle of July through the middle of August, a 35 percent increase from the same period a year ago, and the Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune and the Ocean Medical Center in Brick are bracing for an increase of 20 percent over last year, the Asbury Park (N.J.) Press reported Tuesday.
Hurricane Sandy hit the region in late October 2012.
Dr. Robert Graebe, chairman and program director of Monmouth Medical Center's obstetrics and gynecology department, credited Hurricane Sandy with causing the baby boom.
"Before the Sandy aspect hit us, we were slated to do 4,700-plus births this year, a little more than half of all babies born in Monmouth and Ocean counties," Graebe said. "Now we are seeing a little bump in what we had predicted."
Richard W. Evans, a Brigham Young University economics professor who has studied the connection between hurricanes and fertility, said Sandy seems to have had a larger impact than storms in other parts of the country.
"People just love hurricanes and sex," he said. "It sounds like in New Jersey, you have potentially a much stronger effect in these counties than our study would predict."