Cuomo: LI Restoration Tops $8 Billion

Governor hopes federal cash will help cover the costs after Sandy. So far, FEMA has pledged $277 million for Long Island.

Clean up on the corner of Clover and Gardenia Lane. Credit: Yvonne Bisk.
Clean up on the corner of Clover and Gardenia Lane. Credit: Yvonne Bisk.
The costs of Superstorm Sandy's devastation on Long Island will top $8 billion, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday, vowing to ask for federal assistance to cover the costs.

The news came on the same day the Federal Emergency Management Agency approved $680 million for the state, with more than $277 million going towards Long Island.

In total, New York's bill for recovery and prevention costs near $42 billion for the state, Cuomo said at a joint meeting with county executives for Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk as well as New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. More than $9 billion of that would be used for prevention costs, with the rest accounting for the state's recovery (see full chart below).

"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 in a statement.

While LI's totals were higher than the costs for Westchester and Rockland Counties, New York City costs are estimated to top $15 billion.

Prevention costs would include flood proofing at area sewage plants, a particular problem along the South Shore of Long Island where many plants were swamped and leaked into bays and neighborhoods.

While Cuomo's statement included a host of quotes from politicians supporting the governor in pushing for federal reimbursement, Sen. Charles Schumer did caution that the looming budget showdown in Washington could slow down the process.

"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," the senator said in the statement.

Here is the governor's full breakdown of costs as well as his comparison to the damage Sandy did in New York compared to devastation in the South following Hurricane Katrina.

To view more information and a chart with full recovery and prevention
click here.

This story was written by Henry Powderly.


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