Officials call for 100 percent of FEMA reimbursement for city.
Hurricane Sandy — whose 80- to 90-mph winds
and 10 foot storm surge wiped out sections of Long Beach’s boardwalk and
damaged its sewer and water systems and other infrastructure — could cost the
city up to $200 million, with the federal government expected to pick up most
or all of the bill, according to City Manager Jack Schnirman.
As with Tropical Storm Irene last year,
which costs the city approximately $2 million in damages, FEMA typically
reimburses municipalities as much as 75 percent of storm-related costs, but in
the case of more devastating storms — such as Hurricane Katrina — the federal
government can cover as much as 90 percent of the storm-related costs, with the
local government paying the remainder of the bill, according to the Long Beach
. Schnirman said:
We’re looking at an enormous, long-term
rebuilding effort. We’re still in recovery, obviously, and we’re planning for
rebuilding. What we’re looking at here is damage 100 times greater than
Hurricane Irene. We’re looking at 200 million dollars, and that’s just the
city’s cost, so the level of damage is truly astounding and it’s going to take
In the days after the storm, Gov. Andrew
Cuomo visited Long Beach and called on New York’s congressional delegation to
pass legislation to allow the federal government to reimburse Long Beach and
other local and state municipalities 100 percent of the costs rather than 90
percent, and State Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg also called for similar
measures to rebuild the city’s infrastructure.
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