Tag Archives: Hurricane Katrina

Senate OKs $50.5B in Sandy aid


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

Following the House two weeks ago, on Monday, January 28, the Senate, in a 62 to 36 vote, passed a $50.5 billion bill, which makes supplemental appropriations to federal agencies and programs for Sandy-related expenses.

“Despite the difficult path in getting to this moment, the Senate membership clearly recognized early on the urgency and necessity of approving the full aid package and its importance in rebuilding our battered infrastructure and getting our millions of affected residents back on their feet as quickly as possible,” said Governors Andrew Cuomo of New York, Chris Christie of New Jersey, and Dannel Malloy of Connecticut in a joint statement.

“It was 13 weeks ago today that the storm hit, and New Yorkers are still working to rebuild,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “This aid will allow us to better help our residents and businesses, and I want to thank all of those who voted in support of this critical appropriation,”

On January 4, the entire legislative branch also approved $9.7 billion in relief money that temporarily increases the borrowing authority of the Federal Emergency Management Agency for carrying out the National Flood Insurance Program.

Though the aid’s approval is good news, it took several months, delayed votes and political criticism from both sides of the aisle.

Representatives from Sandy-impacted regions and the legislation’s other supporters were livid that the money hadn’t been approved sooner.

It took only 10 days from the time Hurricane Katrina hit for emergency relief legislation to pass.
Other politicians opposed what they believed was non-storm related spending.

Regardless of the mostly Republican votes against the aid, the relief money still made it to the president’s desk and it should be signed shortly.

But the questions now, say politicians, are: Is it enough money and will it be utilized where it’s needed?

For the governors of New York and New Jersey, the answer to the first question is no.

Those states initially asked Washington for $80 billion, but the Obama administration cut that amount to $60.4 billion.

 

 

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Local pols angry over Sandy bill delay


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Though the House of Representatives managed to pass legislation before falling over the fiscal cliff, it didn’t vote on a $60 billion Sandy relief package before the end of the current house session on Wednesday.

But this afternoon Speaker John Boehner said that the House would vote on the storm aid by January 15.

That statement followed a chorus of criticism from local politicians who know how desperate their constituents are for the relief money.

“This failure to come to the aid of Americans following a severe and devastating natural disaster is unprecedented. The fact that days continue to go by while people suffer, families are out of their homes, and men and women remain jobless and struggling during these harsh winter months is a dereliction of duty. When American citizens are in need we come to their aid. That tradition was abandoned in the House last night,” said Governors Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie in a joint statement.

Katrina emergency relief legislation was passed less than month from the time the hurricane hit. It’s been 66 days since Sandy devastated parts of the Northeast.

“New Yorkers continue to suffer from the havoc Sandy wreaked upon our region, and they desperately need help now,” said U.S. congressmember-elect Grace Meng, who will be sworn in tomorrow in Washington D.C.

“I call on House Republicans to reconsider their misguided decision, and immediately hold a vote in the opening days of the new congress. People cannot wait any longer,” she continued.

The next House session, which starts Thursday, will include Meng and the other newly elected members.

Congressmember Steve Israel, who represents areas of Queens and Long Island, echoed the outrage of other politicians.

“In the very last minute they pulled the rug from under us,” he told Fox 5 New York. “When it came to New Yorkers and people in NJ they said no. It is simply indefensible. There is going to be a delay in getting these funds to the people who need them. It was John Boehner and Eric Cantor who turned their backs on New Yorkers and New Jerseyans.”

Sandy more impactful than Katrina: Cuomo


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

The same day that Mayor Bloomberg requested billions in federal aid to help the city rebuild after Superstorm Sandy, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that Sandy cost the state $32.8 billion in repair and restoration costs.

Additionally, New York will need an estimated $9.1 billion in mitigation and prevention costs, said Cuomo, for measures such as flood protection for the World Trade Center site and vulnerable road and subway tunnels, fuel supply system power generation, sewage treatment plant flood protection and secondary power supply systems for health care facilities.

To cover the approximately $42 billion in costs, the state will need supplemental federal assistance, said Cuomo.

That estimation includes approximately $5 billion in recovery needs for the MTA, 1.5 billion for utilities, 6 billion for businesses and 9.6 billion for housing.

Compared with Hurricane Katrina, about 100,000 more housing units were damaged or destroyed in Sandy and almost 250,000 more businesses were impacted, said the governor’s office. There were also approximately 1.4 million more power outages from the superstorm.

When looking at those numbers, said Cuomo, Katrina, in many ways, was not as impactful as Sandy.

 

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Wednesday: Clear. High of 82. Winds from the West at 10 to 15 mph shifting to the NNW in the afternoon.Wednesday night: Partly cloudy in the evening, then clear. Low of 64. Winds from the NW at 5 to 10 mph

EVENT of the DAY: Michael Jackson Birthday Bash 

“Do you Remember the Time” when you first saw the King of Pop’s slick moves literally glide across the dance floor? Do you remember singing the lyrics to “Billie Jean” at the top of your lungs? Or maybe, you laid in bed at night visualizing all the moves in the “Thriller” video. Either way, the music lives. On August 29, it is officially Michael Jackson Day at Resorts World Casino New York City. With MJX, the premier MJ Impersonator, and DJ Spinna on the ones and twos, it will be a night to remember.Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

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