After the Storm
WASHINGTON — Mayor Michael Bloomberg is in Washington D.C. today meeting with lawmakers and other officials about his request for billions of dollars in federal aid to help the city recover from the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy last month in New York. Though many City residents affected by Sandy have had some criticism about FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security’s response to the storm, at a press conference in the Capitol Building this afternoon, Mr. Bloomberg said he didn’t have a single issue with the federal followup to the hurricane.
Earlier today, Mayor Michael Bloomberg formally petitioned the federal government for billions of dollars in financial assistance to help cover the costs incurred from the fatal winds and storm surge that came with Hurricane Sandy last month. However, when he was asked about the request at the end of an unrelated press conference today, Mr. Bloomberg sounded skeptical that he’d get what he asked for.
“I’m always optimistic,” he said this afternoon. “I always believe that we’re going to win. I still think we’re going to get that stadium on the West Side. I still think that we’re going to get the 2012 Olympics. I’m always an optimist and never give in.”
President Obama’s trip to Staten Island today was filled with thanks from local elected officials and residents who praised him for showing up and for the government’s response to Hurricane Sandy. However, there were also signs some Staten Islanders were dissatisfied with the aid they’ve received since the storm.
Although much of the attention has been focused on New York City, millions of Long Islanders were also caught in Hurricane Sandy’s path, with tens of thousands of them still without electricity or a regular supply of gasoline. In a statement sent out this afternoon by Nassau and Suffolk counties’ entire delegation in the State Senate, the local officials cried out for additional federal assistance. In doing so, they repeatedly raised the specter of Hurricane Katrina, the disaster that infamously marred former President George W. Bush’s administration.
“We are facing a massive, Katrina-style disaster here on Long Island that will only get worse unless all of the resources of the federal government are at our disposal. Incredibly, that hasn’t happened yet,” Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos declared in the release, the title of which warned of “More Death and Destruction.”
Hurricane Sandy, which wreaked havoc on good portions of New York State, clearly won’t be cheap to clean up, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo has avoided giving a specific number to the costs.
In a letter to President Barack Obama requesting maximum compensation from the federal government, however, Mr. Cuomo said the loss of economic activity alone in the state would yield “up to $6 billion in lost economic revenue in the greater metropolitan area and the State due to the severe disruption of business in the world’s leading financial hub and the largest port on the northeastern seaboard.”
We’re officially in a state of emergency.
After signing emergency declarations for Maryland and Massachusetts, President Barack Obama did the same for New York this evening, effective across all 62 counties in the Empire State. The move, which allows federal aid to assist in response and recovery efforts, comes after Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency Friday afternoon.
President Barack Obama declared the State of New York a major disaster and ordered federal aid to the areas affected by Hurricane Irene.
Declaring New York an official disaster makes federal funding available to affected individuals in the Albany, Delaware, Dutchess, Essex, Greene, Schenectady, Schoharie, and Ulster counties.
Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster, according to a release from the White House.
Earlier today Bob Turner sent out a statement calling for an independent federal damage assessment of New York’s Ninth Congressional District because it does not currently have congressional representation.
According to David Weprin, Turner’s Democratic opponent, this sudden interest in getting the federal government involved in disaster relief stands in stark relief to Turner’s previous Read More