Long Beach gets first FEMA check

Friends and family help Diane Joyce clean out Friends and family help Diane Joyce clean out her home on Ohio Avenue in Long Beach after superstorm Sandy. (Nov. 3, 2012) Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

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Long Beach received its first check from the Federal Emergency Management Agency -- a $24.3 million sum that will aid the city in paying for its recovery from superstorm Sandy.

The total amount of money the city will receive has not been determined, officials said. The city suffered more than $200 million in damage, city officials have said.

Cleaning all the debris in the city will cost $85 million alone, city manager Jack Schnirman said. That is $3 million less than the city's annual budget.

Schnirman said the first FEMA check arrived at a timely moment, when the city is grappling with the many costs of recovering from Sandy.

"It is crucial to the city's recovery that we have an immediate cash infusion," Schnirman said. "We've expedited the beginning of the FEMA process and we're off to a great start."

Long Beach is about three weeks into a six-week debris cleanup effort, Schnirman said. Crews have removed more than 135,000 cubic yards of debris, he said.

The city also sustained heavy beach erosion and damage to roads, its oceanfront boardwalk and water and sewer systems, city officials have said.

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