Governor Andrew M. Cuomo put a pricetag on the recovery from Hurricane Sandy and the amount of funding he will seek from the federal authority – $42 billion – drawing unanimous vows of support from New York’s Congressional delegation that they will fight to obtain the money.
“New York has suffered unprecedented damage from Hurricane Sandy, both wide and deep, and it demands a strong and equally serious response from the Federal Government,” U.S. Senator Charles Schumer said. “The Governor, after conferring with Mayor Bloomberg and the county executives, has given us a detailed and serious disaster damage estimate that extensively documents the severe harm that New York and New Yorkers have suffered. Working with the Administration and the delegation, as well as with colleagues from other affected states, we will do everything we can to maximize the relief New York receives. Make no mistake, this will not be an easy task, particularly given the impending fiscal cliff, and a Congress that has been much less friendly to disaster relief than in the past. This will be an effort that lasts not weeks, but many months, and we will not rest until the federal response meets New York’s deep and extensive needs.”
” This will not be an easy fight, but we are united as a delegation, and with Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg, and we will all fight hard to push the boulder up the hill for every dollar New York needs,” U.S,. Senator Kristen Gillibrand said.
The Governor laid out the costs during a briefing on Monday, Nov. 26, with New York State’s Congressional delegation, New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and County Executives from Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester Counties to review a detailed assessment of the damage and future mitigation/prevention costs as a result of Hurricane Sandy, as well as discuss the state’s approach to seeking supplemental federal assistance to help cover the repair and restoration costs.
The cost of the storm, as estimated in consultation with private firms including PricewaterhouseCoopers and the PFM Group, as well as the city and the counties, includes:
· $32.8 billion in repair and restoration costs
· $9.1 billion in mitigation and prevention costs
“The devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy is of unprecedented proportions, ranking among the worst natural disasters in our nation’s history in terms of loss of life, property damage, and economic impact,” Governor Cuomo said. “Today’s meeting with our state’s Congressional delegation builds upon the close cooperation between local, state, and federal partners that has existed throughout Hurricane Sandy and in the storm’s aftermath. Working together, we will rebuild stronger and better than ever before, so New York State is better prepared and has the infrastructure in place to handle future major weather incidents.”
The focus of the delegation meeting was on the $32.8 billion in repair and response costs and the need for $9.1 billion in mitigation/prevention expenses.
The delegation and the Governor discussed seeking supplemental federal assistance to meet the repair and restoration costs, and the entire New York Congressional delegation vowed support in seeking federal funding.
The $9 billion in mitigation/prevention costs include “common sense” mitigation actions, such as flood protection for the World Trade center site and vulnerable road and subway tunnels, fuel supply system power generation, sewage treatment plant flood protection, and secondary power supply systems for health care facilities.
The damage estimates have been developed in consultation with PriceWaterhouseCoopers and the PFM Group. PFM’s review notes that the estimates are generally conservative and some areas, including housing, may understate the degree of impact.
Among the highlights of the report demonstrating the impact of Sandy on New York State:
305,000 Housing units were damaged or destroyed (versus 214,700 in Katrina)
2,190,000 power outages at the peak (versus 800,000 during Katrina)
265,300 businesses impacted (versus 18,700 during Katrina)
The $32 billion breaks down:
$15 B for New York City
$6,6 B for Nassau County
$1,8 B for Suffolk County
$529 million for Westchester County
$144 million for Rockland County
$18 million for other counties
$1.5 billion for utilities
$7.2 billion for New York State Agencies and Transit Authorities
U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler said, “The devastation in New York after Hurricane Sandy can still be seen everywhere throughout the city, and is particularly painful for my own constituents in Coney Island, Sea Gate, Red Hook, and Lower Manhattan. Thousands are still displaced, thousands are trying to rebuild, and thousands are struggling to return to life as normal. We will take Governor Cuomo’s comprehensive assessment of the damage to Congress and work to ensure that New York gets every dollar it needs to rebuild and move forward.”
“Given the catastrophic damage inflicted on New York, I am committed to working with Governor Cuomo and the congressional delegation to ensure that Long Island and New York get the federal assistance they need to recover,” said U.S. Representative Peter King.
U.S. Representative Gregory Meeks said, “Hurricane Sandy inflicted catastrophic damage on New York City and Long Island. The Governor’s direct involvement — including in my district — has been decisive. The same can be said of the thoroughness of his administration’s assessment of the destruction. What New Yorkers have endured is an American tragedy. Our neighborhoods, businesses, property, infrastructure, and globally-integrated economy cannot be restored or rebuilt without federal aid and resources. Each of us is determined to tirelessly work with President Obama and our congressional colleagues to ensure that New York gets the federal help it needs. If there ever was a need for bipartisanship this is it.”
“Staten Island has been devastated by Hurricane Sandy, and weeks later we are only beginning to see the extent of the damage, which will no doubt rise in cost over time,” U.S. Representative Michael Grimm said. “At today’s meeting with Governor Cuomo, one thing remained clear: Republican or Democrat, we are New Yorkers first. We stand united as a delegation in doing everything it takes to secure the necessary aid to rebuild our communities and move New York towards a full and rapid recovery.”
U.S. Representative Bob Turner said, “I commend Governor Cuomo for his detailed presentation laying out an effective bi-partisan road map to assist New Yorkers affected by Sandy. We are not Republicans or Democrats, we are all New Yorkers working to rebuild the State we love and I look forward to continuing the discussion about what resources will be necessary to rebuild and sustain our future.”
“The superstorm did enormous damage in New York and it will take sustained effort– and sustained funding– to get things back to normal. I know I’ll be joining my colleagues in the delegation in fighting for every recovery dollar we need,” said U.S. Representative Carolyn Maloney.
New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said, “Hurricane Sandy caused extensive damage to our infrastructure and displaced thousands of people. Working closely with our State and Federal partners I am confident that we can rebuild and restore our great City.”
Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano said, “I commend Governor Cuomo, U.S. Senators Schumer and Gillibrand and all our Members of Congress for coming together to understand the local needs and advocate for immediate assistance for our residents who are struggling to recover from Hurricane Sandy. This meeting builds on President Obama’s visit where he assured us that the Federal government will assist in the monumental rebuilding efforts.”
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said, “We had a very productive meeting today with the Governor and the New York Federal Delegation. Suffolk County’s needs were accurately reflected as part of the process and I look forward to working with the Federal Delegation as we look to repair and rebuild in Suffolk County.”
“It is important that we are all on the same page as New Yorkers, and not as Republicans or Democrats. We need to speak with one voice as we seek recovery cost reimbursement from the federal government for this horrific storm. And today’s meeting was a good step forward in that process,” Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino said.