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World & Nation

New York, New Jersey expect Sandy to cost U.S. $79 billion

Superstorm Sandy’s tab swelled Wednesday as New York and New Jersey estimated they would need $79 billion in federal aid to cover damages, recovery and mitigation measures to cope with a future storm.

In a joint statement released Wednesday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie pledged to coordinate their recovery efforts and called on the Obama administration to support them.

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“Our economies and infrastructures are inextricably linked and, in many ways, dependent on one another, which is why we share common goals in the rebuilding effort,” the governors said in a news release. “We will work with our respective congressional delegations and the Obama administration to ensure that our states receive federal support commensurate with the damage wrought by the storm and experienced by our residents.”

FULL COVERAGE: Hurricane Sandy

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Cuomo’s request for federal aid included $9.1 billion in mitigation and prevention costs, such as installing flood controls for the World Trade Center site and underground public transportation, both of which filled with water after Sandy made landfall Oct. 29.

Christie requested $7.4 billion for preventive measures.

“Our requests also include necessary prevention and mitigation efforts as prudence dictates that we not suffer this great a human or financial loss again,” the governors said.

The preventive money is on top of what they expect to need to rebuild and recover.

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Cuomo estimated that recovering from Sandy will cost about $33 billion, with nearly half dedicated to New York City alone. Christie called the hurricane “New Jersey’s Katrina” and priced his state’s recovery at $29.4 billion, including $12 billion dedicated to rebuilding homes and businesses. 

Sandy is expected to become the second-costliest natural disaster in history, after 2005’s Katrina.

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