No Good, Very Expensive Hurricane to Cost New York City $19 Billion

By
Photo: Richard H. Cohen/Corbis

Michael Bloomberg has requested $9.8 billion in federal funding to counter the $19 billion in public and private losses New York City suffered from Hurricane Sandy, he announced today in a letter to Congress. "This funding will be needed to address the significant local expenses that have been and will be incurred, including costs that are ineligible under FEMA such as hazard mitigation, long-term housing solutions, and shoreline restoration and protection," Bloomberg wrote. "The City will struggle to recover in the long term unless expedited federal funding is supplied."

The total includes $5.7 billion in lost economic activity and another $4.5 billion in losses and incremental expenses for local government agencies. Statewide costs are expected to near $42 billion in damage and losses, more than initially estimated, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced simultaneously, coordinating the bad news for maximum impact. He called the new numbers "less than a wish list."

With a dash of optimism, Bloomberg added, "While the impact of the storm will be felt for some time and the challenges are great, I am confident that the city will rebound and emerge stronger than ever."