NJ Governor Estimates Sandy Will Cost State at Least $29.4 Billion

Storm Sandy caused at least $29.4 billion damage in U.S. state of New Jersey, according to a preliminary analysis.

Gov. Christie estimates superstorm Sandy cost the state $29.4 billion in damages and economic losses, from washed-out roadways to waterlogged homes to manning storm shelters. Photo: Chris Christie/Flickr

Cleaning up the damage caused by the record-breaking nature phenomenon will cost New Jersey about $29.4 billion, Gov. Chris Christie announced Friday.

The estimated sum of money includes losses to personal property, businesses, transportation and utilities, costs to New Jersey’s $38 billion tourism industry, as well as aid the state has already received and also expects to get from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other federal agencies, The Wall Street Journal writes.

According to the Christie administration, the figure accounted for federal aid the state has already received, and the total damage estimate could increase in the weeks ahead.

The governor said the preliminaryestimate came from “the best available data, field observations and geographic mapping,” and advice from cabinet officials and a consulting company.

“We will continue to provide immediate relief for our citizens who were struck hard by Sandy,” Christie added. “But be assured, I will spare no effort and waste no time to rebuild and restore our tourism industry, our transportation and utilities infrastructure and the lives of our citizens for the long term.”

Christie recently consulted with Louisiana and Mississippi governors about working with the federal government after another destructive hurricane Katrina, as he makes his case for federal funds to aid in rebuilding New Jersey’s storm-ravaged coastline and cover losses incurred during widespread power outages, Philly reports.

However, how much of those damages the state of New Jersey will actually see is a highly debated subject. Republican Rep. Chris Smith announced earlier this week that while the maximum federal assistance for an individual is $31,900, the average following last year’s Hurricane Irene was $8,000.

The Christie administration declined to comment on the estimate released Friday. Two weeks ago New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo released a damage estimate for his state of $33 billion.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency currently has $8.1 million for disaster relief funding but it’s still unclear how that money will be portioned out between the states.

But New Jersey’s congressional and Senate delegations already are pushing to increase funding, reports claim.

“The people of New Jersey can rely on the congressional delegation to work with the Obama administration, Gov. Christie and our colleagues to deliver the funding necessary for New Jersey families, communities and businesses to recover and rebuild so that we’re stronger than ever before,” Sen. Frank Lautenberg, a Democrat, said.

Last week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his plans to ask the federal government for $30 billion in disaster aid for the his state.

Earlier this month, New York City Comptroller John Liu estimated that the disaster was costing New York City $200 million a day in lost economic activity, with that amount likely to top out at about $1 billion.

The destructive “superstorm” blasted through eight Northeastern U.S. states on October 30, killing dozens of people, battering coastal neighborhoods and forcing mass evacuations. The storm shut down the entire New York City subway system for days, Reuters reminds.

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