News Column

Cuomo: N.Y. Seeking $30B in Federal Aid

Nov. 13, 2012

By William M. Welch

Andrew Cuomo

New York state will ask the federal government for $30 billion to aid recovery from Superstorm Sandy as the region confronts massive damage to homes, businesses and public works two weeks after the severe weather, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday.

The money is needed to repair and rebuild bridges, tunnels, rail and subway lines, and to help small businesses and New Yorkers trying to rebuild, the Democratic governor said.

Fulfilling the request will require a special appropriation from Congress through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, he said.

"I think, on the merits, this is a very clear case," Cuomo said at a news briefing.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., said the National Flood Insurance Program would be the most significant source of compensation for many homeowners and businesses.

"It will be essential," she said. "Without flood insurance, a lot of these families will not be able to do the rebuilding they need to do."

Federal officials still don't know how many buildings destroyed or damaged by Sandy were covered under the flood insurance program, FEMA spokesman Carter Langston said. He said it would take 60 days to gather claims.

As many as 100,000 homes may be unlivable, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said.

Homeowners and businesses without flood insurance can apply for federal disaster assistance, emergency housing and loans.

In New Jersey, Republican Gov. Chris Christie said gasoline rationing would end at 6 a.m. ET today. Gas supplies are plentiful and there are no more fuel lines, he said.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an independent, announced a $500 million emergency plan to make critical repairs to city schools and hospitals. The spending, which the City Council is likely to approve today, is in addition to more than $134 million in emergency funding already approved.

Source: (c) Copyright 2012 USA TODAY

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