News Column

NJ Seeks $29.4 Billion in Federal Disaster Aid

Nov. 26, 2012

Bob Jordan

New Jersey will seek $29.4 billion in disaster aid from the federal government for recovery from superstorm Sandy.

Gov. Chris Christie in a statement Friday said the request "is based on the best available data, field observations and geographical mapping and supported by expert advice from by cabinet commissioners and an outside consulting company."

After Sandy hit the state Oct. 29, it damaged 72,000 homes and businesses, caused outages for 2.7 million power customers, widespread flooding and wind damage, and destroyed boardwalks and tourist businesses.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is seeking $30 billion in federal aid for his state.

A Christie administration spokesman said New Jersey's request is "in response to the unprecedented and widespread damage caused by Hurricane Sandy to personal property, businesses, transportation and utilities infrastructure, as well as New Jersey's $38 billion tourism industry."

Christie met with the state's congressional delegation Wednesday to discuss rebuilding plans.

Rep. Frank J. Pallone Jr., D-N.J., said the group agreed the aid request needed careful handling.

"We want to make sure it's exact. We're only going to get one shot at this. We want to make sure those figures are accurate," Pallone said.

Christie said the damage estimate could change as more evidence is gathered.

"In a short period of time, we put together a comprehensive and responsible estimate, which may increase in the weeks ahead, and I stand ready to work with our congressional delegation and the Obama administration to get the funding support New Jersey expects and deserves in the aftermath of this catastrophe," Christie said. "We will continue to provide immediate relief for our citizens who were struck hard by Sandy but be assured I will spare no effort and waste no time to rebuild and restore our tourism industry, our transportation and utilities infrastructure and the lives of our citizens for the long term."

The preliminary cost estimate is inclusive of aid received to date and anticipated from federal sources including the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Small Business Administration.



Distributed by MCT Information Services



Source: (c) 2012 Asbury Park Press (Neptune, N.J.)


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