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WNYC News

City Council Introduces Legislation to Better Prepare City for Storms

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The New York City Council announced a package of legislation on Tuesday that seeks to improve the city’s infrastructure in the aftermath of Sandy, as well as better prepare the city for future storms.

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WNYC News

Area of Expected Flooding Rises for NJ

Friday, December 14, 2012

New flood maps for New Jersey predict water levels to climb several feet higher than previous estimates when major storms strike the state.

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New Jersey News

Hoboken Mayor Seeks Aid from Congress

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Sandy caused more than $100 million in damages to Hoboken, according to the city's mayor, Dawn Zimmer. She presented her case for federal assistance before the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Businesses and Entrepreneurship Thursday.

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WNYC News

FEMA Deadline in NY Extended to January 28

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The deadline has been extended to apply for FEMA assistance for those in counties declared disaster areas in the aftermath of Sandy.

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WNYC News

Analysis: How the $60B Sandy Aid Will Be Spent

Monday, December 10, 2012

The fate of President Barack Obama's $60.4 billion Sandy recovery package now rests with Congress. Lawmakers in the House and Senate will decide how much of that amount they think is worth spending, and how any funds would be divvied up between states and agencies.

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WNYC News

FEMA Says No to Trailers in New York City

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Federal disaster relief officials have ruled out deploying mobile homes to shelter city residents whose own homes have been damaged or destroyed by Sandy. Instead, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will rely on a combination of hotels, rental assistance and a new home repair program run by the city.

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WNYC News

Feds Release First FEMA Funds for New York City

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

New York City is getting nearly $190 million in the first round of federal money to help recover from Superstorm Sandy, U.S. senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand said Tuesday.

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WNYC News

Calling a Hotel Home, For Now

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Thousands of storm victims are currently staying in New York City hotels. The accommodations range from high end midtown Manhattan hotels to the West Side YMCA. And while many are grateful to have a roof over their heads, more than anything, they want a permanent place to live again.

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WNYC News

Tempers Flare at Staten Island Town Hall

Friday, November 30, 2012

Hundreds of frustrated Staten Island residents seeking answers packed the New Dorp High School auditorim Thursday night where an informational town hall meeting about Sandy turned into a heated venting session for those who lost everything in the storm.

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WNYC News

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan Urges Congress to Approve Sandy Aid

Friday, November 30, 2012

President Barack Obama’s pointman on regional Sandy rebuilding efforts said tackling immediate needs such as minimizing the number of displaced is a top priority – but long-term issues such as buyouts and climate change loom large.

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WNYC News

Explainer: Breaking Down FEMA Math

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

In New York, both Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Governor Andrew Cuomo released updated damage estimates for Sandy. There was a key difference in their calculations. WNYC's Anna Sale has been looking into the math — and the politics behind it — and provides analysis of the numbers.

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The Takeaway

Fiscal Cliff Could Hinder Sandy Recovery Efforts

Monday, November 19, 2012

President Obama and Republicans in Congress have yet to agree on a solution to the impending fiscal cliff, a package of tax hikes and spending cuts set to go into effect in the New Year. Thus far neither side has shown a strong willingness to concede to what the other wants. Rana Foroohar, assistant managing editor of TIME Magazine, explains.

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WNYC News

Cuomo Seeks $30 Billion in Extra Storm Aid from Feds

Monday, November 12, 2012

Citing massive economic losses to the state of New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo is asking Congress for $30 billion in additional funding for Sandy recovery.

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WNYC News

Flood-Prone NJ Properties May be Bought by Towns

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Property owners in 13 New Jersey towns may be able to sell their homes to their local government, if they have suffered repeated flooding, through program that relies on funding from FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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Transportation Nation

Extreme Weather Events in 2011 Costing Federal Highway Officials Hundreds of Millions

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Spring 2011 floods damaged a bridge in Ryegate, Montana (photo by MontanaTom1950 via Flickr)

(Billings, MT-YPR) When  U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will provide more than $215 million in aid for storm-ravaged roads and bridges, the press release only hinted at the damage caused this year by extreme weather events:  tornadoes, hurricanes, record heat, and flooding.

In Montana alone, record snowfall, mountain snowpack, and spring rains meant an historic flood year. In mid-September, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials had identified nearly 1,500 public infrastructure projects, totaling nearly $50 million.

2011 is emerging as a record year for disasters. According to the Pew Center's stateline.org, about 39 states are awaiting money to repair storm damaged roads, bridges and other public infrastructure. Some of that request was to the FHWA, for which Congress allocates up to $100 million a year.

(For a related story on climate change and transit costs, click here.)

“Communities suffering from disasters have been hard at work restoring vital transportation links so people can resume daily activities soon as possible,” says LaHood. “They did their part, and now it’s our turn to give the states the money they were promised to help pay for that work.”

Lynn Zanto of the Montana Department of Transportation estimated costs to the state from this spring’s flooding at $36 million. The state’s reimbursement from FHWA, which will help repair bridges and roads, is just over $2.56 million.

“Although this may seem like a small amount compared to our overall costs, we’re still very appreciative to our (Congressional) delegation, (and) Secretary LaHood,” Zanto said in a press release. “We do our best to make every dollar count and we’ll keep our fingers crossed and remain hopeful that we’ll see future reimbursements to help mitigate the impacts from the spring floods.”

Those projects would have to initially be paid for by local governments; reimbursement requests would be submitted to FEMA. The FHWA emergency relief money is only to repair or rebuild federal-aid highways and or roads located on federal land.

MDT’s Lynn Zanto says the agency worked quickly to restore the flow of traffic to flood damaged roads and bridges. She says this includes a South Central Montana bridge off of Interstate 94 that was damaged by flooding.

She says funding for that work came from the agency’s program fund that would otherwise pay for planned highway projects, which were put on temporary hold.

Of the $215 million in federal aid, California received the largest amount at $43 million. North Dakota follows at $31.5 million, and Vermont will receive just over $15 million.

The allocation is the second this year for the Federal Highway Administration, which also distributed $319 million for aid in April.   But those disbursements don’t match 2006 and 2007 disbursements for Hurricane Katrina damage.

Also extremely expensive for the FWHA: 2004 and 2005 disbursements for California, which cost in excess of $300 million each.

 

 

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WNYC News

FEMA Extends Deadline for NY Home, Business Owners

Monday, October 31, 2011

Home and business owners in New York who suffered losses during Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee have a bit more time to apply for disaster assistance with FEMA.

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It's A Free Country ®

Funding FEMA in Congress and the Irene Example

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

We have a federal government right now that sits on our economy like a stone. It does not need to be that way, so this is an expression of frustration which I fully share.

—  U.S. Congresswoman Nan Hayworth (R-NY-19), on The Brian Lehrer Show.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

FEMA Funding and the Deficit

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

U.S. Congresswoman Nan Hayworth (R-NY-19), a co-chair with U.S. Congressman Bill Pascrell (D-NJ 8th) of the Hurricane Irene coalition in Congress, discusses ongoing budget negotiations in Washington. Then, Representative Pascrell, who serves on the House Budget Committee and is a member of the Committee on Ways and Means, gives his take on how the federal government can fund FEMA for disaster relief and overcome another looming budget impasse. Plus both react to NJ Governor Christie's decision not to run for president.

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It's A Free Blog

Opinion: Congress Embraces Bipartisanship - In Shirking Budget Duty

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Disasters used to be one of the things that weren't used as political footballs, but now almost nothing is sacrosanct. This is much like how the filibuster used to be a weapon of last resort, but is now used on a regular basis in the Senate.

-Solomon Kleinsmith, It's A Free Country blogger.

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The Takeaway

Senate Passes Deal to Avoid Shut Down

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Senate voted 79 to 12 last night in favor of an agreement on spending for disaster relief, that will avert the government shutdown that many feared might happen this week. Funding for government agencies like FEMA will now be extended for six weeks. Senate leaders are hoping the House will pass the deal later this week.

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