Sen. Chuck Schumer said FEMA has indicated it will pay for the total initial costs of restoring power to New Yorkers and immediate transportation costs.
The news comes a day after Gov. Andrew Cuomo asked FEMA and President Obama to pay for up 100 percent of some of the costs associated with Hurricane Sandy. Cuomo, in his letter to the president, said the state may face up to $6 billion in economic impact.
“This is a good first step on FEMA’s part, and an indication that they know how serious the damage from the storm is,” Schumer said in a statement. “This was not a New York disaster, or a New Jersey disaster or a Connecticut disaster, but a national disaster, and FEMA and the federal government should be providing help to the region to the full extent they can. I will continue to push the feds to reimburse the city and state for the full costs of repair and recovery for all aspects of the disaster.”
Schumer said yesterday that FEMA has more than $7 billion in its coffers to pay for disaster relief nationwide. President Obama pledged his support to states yesterday during a visit to New Jersey.
Schumer said FEMA has agreed to reimburse New York City and the state for the cost of emergency public transportation and restoring power to New York City. It applies to the areas already declared a disaster area: New York City and Long Island. It covers the period from Tuesday through Nov. 9.
It doesn’t include the hard-hit Hudson Valley, which has yet to be declared a federal disaster area.
FEMA is required to pay 75 percent of certain damages, but can pay up to 90 percent to 100 percent.
“I thank FEMA for stepping up and fully covering emergency public transportation and power costs to New York,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said in a statement. “This was one of the worst storms we have ever experienced and I will continue the push to secure the maximum federal funding our families need to recover and rebuild.”