In a letter to President Obama, Gov. Andrew Cuomo estimated New York could lose up to $6 billion in economic activity because of Hurricane Sandy.
Cuomo asked the president to have FEMA provide up to 100 percent of the cost of the damage. The federal government has the ability to fund up to 90 percent, but 75 percent is the normal reimbursement rate — with the state and local governments picking up the rest.
“This support is critical to ensuring that our State and local governments are able to respond effectively to the emergent and continuing issues associated with the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy,” Cuomo wrote.
Here’s the full letter:
October 31, 2012
The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500
Through: Ms. Lynn Canton
Federal Emergency Management Agency, Region II
26 Federal Plaza, Room # 1311
New York, New York 10278
Federal Cost Share Increase
Dear Mr. President:
New York is requesting the maximum authorized federal reimbursement for federal aid pursuant to 44 C.F.R. § 206.47(b) and (d) in the response to and recovery from Hurricane Sandy in all of the federally declared counties in New York State. Under subdivision (d), FEMA is authorized to provide 100% reimbursement for Direct Federal Assistance and Category B emergency protective measures implemented in response to the hurricane. Under subdivision (b), FEMA is authorized to grant New York 90% of the eligible costs of permanent work.
As described in 44 C.F.R. § 206.47(d), “If warranted by the needs of the disaster, we recommend up to 100% Federal funding for emergency work under section 403 and section 407, including direct Federal assistance for a limited period in the initial days of the disaster irrespective of the per capita impact.” We have determined that the significant impacts from Hurricane Sandy plainly warrant providing this assistance.
Our counties are responding to the continued impacts of multi-building fires, tunnel closures, power losses to hospitals and other critical infrastructure, destroyed homes and sheltered populations – all in the midst of historic flooding that has complicated emergency response operations exponentially. Moreover, the cost to restore the complex electrically driven subway and rail transportation systems after total inundation from saltwater flooding will place a tremendous financial burden on New York State. The impact of this storm on thousands of small businesses is devastating and unprecedented. Initial estimates project 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.
This support is critical to ensuring that our State and local governments are able to respond effectively to the emergent and continuing issues associated with the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy.
Should you have any questions, your staff may contact Steve Kuhr, the State Coordinating Officer, at 518-292-2301.
ANDREW M. CUOMO