NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Mayor Michael Bloomberg estimates Superstorm Sandy caused a whopping $19 billion in losses in New York City so he asked federal lawmakers to put up nearly $10 billion to reimburse both government agencies and private businesses.
The mayor’s request Monday would come on top of a projected $5.4 billion from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reports
Bloomberg said that money, and private insurance, won’t cover all the public and private expenses from the storm. They could range from rebuilding roads to reimbursing a restaurant for lost business while power was out.
The mayor will meet with House and Senate leadership when he visits Washington to ask for the expedited funds on Wednesday.
According to the mayor’s office, initial cost assessments include the following components:
• $4.8 billion in uninsured private losses
• $3.8 billion in insured private losses
• $4.5 billion in losses to and costs incurred by City agencies
• $5.7 billion in lost gross City product
• $0.2 billion for US Army Corps of Engineers
“Whether it was a small retail store in Coney Island that lost its inventory in a flood, or a restaurant in Staten Island forced to close due to a loss of power, Hurricane Sandy caused an estimated $5.7 billion in lost gross product in the City. These businesses are crucial to the City’s economy and to the communities that rely on their services, and the work of recovery will not be complete until they are back in business,” Bloomberg said Monday.
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States typically get 75 percent FEMA reimbursement for disaster recovery. Congress sometimes authorizes additional aid.
“Four weeks ago, as Sandy was approaching our shores, President Obama committed federal resources to this storm and its recovery. Since then we have worked closely with his Administration on everything from cleanup to temporary housing. With our combined efforts, I am confident that we can secure the funding needed to ensure the swiftest and smartest recovery for New York City. Thank you for your leadership on this issue,” Bloomberg said.
The request comes as Congress and the White House face a Dec. 31 deadline to craft a sweeping deficit-reduction plan and avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff.”
In total, Sandy ran up a $42 billion bill on the State of New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday.
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“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,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo said the scope of the devastation trumps the effects of another massive hurricane that hit the U.S. recently.
“When you look at the damage done – the economic damage, the housing damage, the damage to commercial properties – because of the density of New York, the number of people affected, the number of properties affected was much larger in Hurricane Sandy than in Hurricane Katrina,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo said the New York Congressional delegation is on board and will lobby to get federal aid granted to the state.
“Getting this passed in the House is going to be important, getting this passed with Republican support is going to be necessary,” the governor said.
The cost includes $32 billion for repairs and restoration, but also includes an additional accounting of $9 billion for mitigation of damage and for preventive measures for the next disastrous storm.
Cuomo said New York taxpayers can’t foot the bill.
“To try to finance that through taxes would incapacitate the state,” Cuomo said.
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