Bloomberg, Cuomo urge feds to lend financial hand for Sandy relief
Mayor Mike Bloomberg is heading to Capitol Hill Wednesday, where he will ask the feds to pay what's left of the $19 billion in damage Superstorm Sandy caused to the city.
The storm costs are still rising and the total net loss for the Big Apple is close to $9.8 billion after FEMA and private insurance reimbursement, the mayor said.
"The city will struggle to recover in the long term unless expedited federal funding is supplied," he wrote in a letter to numerous New York congressional members.
In the letter, he laid out all the specific costs to the city's infrastructure and various industries and said they were too immense for the Big Apple to handle solo.
The state-run MTA, meanwhile, will have to undertake long-term rebuilding after several tunnels flooded and equipment was destroyed.
Christina Greer, a political science professor at Fordham University, said she wasn't sure if the federal government would oblige Bloomberg, but that he's making the right move.
Being a well-known public figure, the mayor could rally some Congressional members to his cause, and, more importantly, get constituents on his side, Greer said.
"Part of this is symbolic. He is the mayor. He has to demand the money," she said. "[Congress] has to come out and assess how much New York needs, because New York wasn't the only one hit with this."
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who asked the federal government to pay for the state's $32.8 billion storm price tag, backed Bloomberg, noting that their requests aren't extraordinary.
The governor said Washington was able to provide $147 billion for Hurricane Katrina-related expenses and that Sandy hit New York "harder" because it affected a larger number of people.
"Because of the density of New York, the number of buildings affected is much higher than Hurricane Katrina," he noted.