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Cuomo Asks Feds For $41 Billion To Help State Recover From Sandy

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TWC News: Cuomo Asks Feds For $41 Billion To Help State Recover From Sandy
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Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state's congressional delegation agreed in Midtown today on a request for $41 billion in federal aid for Hurricane Sandy recovery and supplemental aid for New York State, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg's $9.8 billion request for recovery money for the five boroughs.

Speaking this afternoon, Cuomo said $32 billion are needed to help restore what was lost in the storm and another $9 billion are needed to help prevent and lessen the impact from future storms.

Between recovery and supplemental aid, New York City is asking for $15 billion.

The governor stressed that give the density and volume of damages, Sandy was "more impactful" than Hurricane Katrina was in the Gulf Coast in 2005.

He said statewide, 265,000 private businesses were affected, two million residents were left without power, 300,000 homes received damage and 2,000 miles of roads were damage.

Cuomo said that he understood the "fiscal pressures" that Congress and New York face, but said that this aid was needed immediately

He said two Republican congressmen — Michael Grimm of Staten Island and Peter King of Long Island — were among the lawmakers who met at his Midtown office, and that there will be a bipartisan effort to get Congress to approve the aid.

"I have no problems, the important part is we get the money we need," King said. "I have a good relationship with the governor, he's trying to do the best he can. I'm not going to stand on ceremony."

Cuomo also said he was willing to meet in person with House Speaker John Boehner, if needed.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who attended the Monday meeting, released today his request for $9.8 billion in federal aid to help the city fix recent storm damage.

He estimates city losses at $19 billion, including $4.5 billion in damages to city agencies, $5.7 billion in lost business and $4.7 billion in uninsured private losses.

The mayor said private insurance is expected to cover $3.8 billion in losses and the Federal Emergency Management Agency is expected to help with another $5.4 billion.

Cuomo and state lawmakers are working with their New Jersey counterparts, including Governor Chris Christie, to try to bring about $62 billion in aid to the tri-state area.

Earlier this month, Cuomo said he would ask for $30 billion, but some elected officials felt he should have discussed the request with them before publicly offering a dollar amount.

So far, FEMA officials have approved more than $650 million in federal aid for New York victims and say about 230,000 New Yorkers have requested assistance.

Queens County, including the Rockaways, has received $170 million.

Staten Island has received about $70 million.

Nassau County has received more than $220 million.

Officials have conducted more than 130,000 home inspections since the storm hit.

Residents can register for FEMA assistance at disasterassistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362. Phone lines are open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week.

Several state and city programs are helping the five boroughs recover from damage from Sandy.

The state Department of Labor announced Sunday that federal funds are helping to fill more than 5,000 jobs in Sandy recovery efforts, to mainly get New Yorkers between the ages of 18 to 24 who live in areas impacted by the storm to help clean their own neighborhoods.

By Monday morning, more than 800 people had signed up for the program, according to the governor's office.

The workers will be contacted within a week so they can get started.

For more information on the program, call 1-888-4-NYSDOL (1-888-469-7365) or visit labor.ny.gov/sandyjobs.

Applicants can also visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Disaster Recovery Centers in the Bronx, Brooklyn or Queens.

The Department of Labor also says that FEMA wants to hire up to 700 New Yorkers to fill in full-time, temporary jobs mostly filled by out-of-state FEMA employees. For more information, visit www.labor.ny.gov/jobs/regional.shtm.

On Saturday, the mayor http://ny1.com/?ArID=172794&secId=3introduced a new grant program aimed at helping small businesses affected by Sandy.

The program will make $5.5 million in matching funds available — $5 million from the Mayor’s Fund and $500,000 from the Partnership for New York City.

The city says it has also authorized $1.2 billion for repair work as a result of Sandy, including $500 million of those expenses will go towards the city's Rapid Repairs Program.

The Rapid Repairs program is designed to help restore power, hot water and heat at homes impacted by Sandy.

Another $500 million will be used to restore public school and hospital buildings.

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