NEW YORK — Hurricane Irene caused more than $10 billion in total damages to the United States as it swept across the country's east coast, a leading risk-assessment firm said on Wednesday.

"Irene caused significant damage to property," the firm, Eqecat, said in a report. "Eqecat estimates that Irene caused in excess of $10 billion in economic damages in its traverse across the mainland US."

More than 40 million people in the densely populated eastern seaboard of the United States were affected by Irene, with the worst damages due to flooding, said the Oakland, California-based company.

Insured losses in the United States were from $1.5 billion to $2.8 billion, with about 60 percent of the losses in the northeastern states of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, Eqecat said.

Adding earlier losses in the Caribbean, Eqecat put the total insured losses from Irene at between $1.8 billion to $3.4 billion.

Earlier, Standard & Poor's put insurance losses from Irene at around $5 billion. The reason for the discrepancy was not immediately clear.

More than 40 deaths have been blamed on Irene, which made made landfall in the US state of North Carolina on Saturday and then progressed northward, weakening to a tropical storm by the time it hit New York on Sunday.

Thousands remained cut off by severe flooding in towns across Vermont, New Jersey and upstate New York on Wednesday.