Cuomo: Sandy Had More Of A Wallop Than Katrina
Superstorm Sandy’s impact on New York and the surrounding area was worse than that of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans when it came to home and business damage, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a news conference this afternoon.
Cuomo said that there was a “human toll” that made Katrina a different story, especially after the federal, state and city government’s botched response to the aftermath.
But in pitching a federal aid package request that has now ballooned to $41 billion, the Democratic governor said Sandy’s impact on the metropolitan region’s infrastructure, businesses and housing was far worse.
“When you look at the number of homes and business impacted, this storm impacted more than Katrina,” Cuomo said.
He added, “Now, Katrina had a human toll and thankfully we have not paid in this region. Katrina was different story in government involvement, but just in terms of numbers, I think at the end of the day you will have a very strong story that Hurricane Sandy was much more impactful than Hurricane Katrina just on a housing side.”
Katrina killed 1,833; Sandy’s estimated death toll across the East Coast is 253.
But the governor’s office noted in a companion news released that more of the state’s homes and businesses suffered as a result of Sandy than during Katrina, which hit the Gulf Coast.
According to number’s released by Cuomo’s office, 305,000 housing units were destroyed or damaged by Sandy, compared to 214,700. As for businesses, more than 265,300 were impacted, compared to an estimated 18,700 for Sandy.
Cuomo’s office also released a spreadsheet of the damage by area, which is below.
New York’s Congressional delegation and county executives from Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk counties met with Cuomo today to hash out a strategy of lobbying for the aid package, which will be bundled with requests from other states impacted by Sandy, including New Jersey and Connecticut.
Cuomo said he invited House Speaker John Boehner to visit New York City and tour the storm damage. He also offered to lobby Washington lawmakers for the funding to rebuild and restore following the storm.
“I said to Congressman (Peter) King if it helps me to come down to speak to the speaker, I will,” Cuomo said.
A tax increase to pay for at least part of the damage was all but ruled out by Cuomo today, saying that doing so is a “last, last, last resort.”
Financing the full $40 billion through state taxes would “”incapacitate the state,” Cuomo said.
New York’s total budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year is about $132 billion.
Cuomo said the damage wrought by Sandy was worse in part because of the population density of the New York City area.
“It’s a realistic-slash-conservative estimate at this time,” Cuomo said of the new supplemental aid figure, which includes a request for additional reimbursement from FEMA.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on November 26, 2012 at 3:01 pm, and is filed under Andrew Cuomo. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|