Gov. Andrew Cuomo said today he will seek a $30 billion federal appropriation from Congress to help New York rebuild after Superstorm Sandy.
“The damage here is much more severe than just the out-of-pocket expense,” Cuomo told reporters at a briefing this afternoon. “We have suffered what we estimate to be a $30 billion economic loss. Just reimbursing the out-of-pocket expenses does not come close to making up to the economic damage that has been done to this state and this region.”
Cuomo noted that special appropriations have been made in the past by Congress, such as after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Last week, Cuomo pegged the economic loss at $33 billion and said he would seek federal reimbursement for the costs.
The storm hit New York on Oct. 29 and led to power outages throughout downtown Manhattan, the boroughs and the suburbs in Long Island and Westchester and Rockland counties. All the areas have been named disaster areas by the federal government.
At its peak, 2.1 million people were without power. Cuomo said 98 percent to 99 percent of customers have had power restored, but some areas on Long Island and the Rockaways in Queens will need to be rebuilt before power is restored.
“This is an economy that is important not just to the state. This is an economy that is important to the country,” Cuomo said. “This was cataclysmic for New York, and I think it’s a wise investment for the federal government to help us build this economy back.”