Tags: Superstorm | Aid | congress

Congress to Vote on Superstorm Sandy Flood Aid

Friday, 04 Jan 2013 08:49 AM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

A $9.7 billion measure to pay flood insurance claims is set for a vote in Congress, boosting prospects for relief for the many home and business owners flooded out by Superstorm Sandy.

If the House, as expected, approves the flood insurance proposal on Friday, the Senate plans to follow with a likely uncontested vote later in the day.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency warns that the National Flood Insurance Program will run out of money next week if Congress doesn't provide additional borrowing authority to pay out claims. Congress created the FEMA-run program in 1968 because few private insurers cover flood damage.

Northeast lawmakers say the money is urgently needed for storm victims awaiting claim checks from the late October storm, which was one of the worst ever to strike the Northeast, ravaging the coast from North Carolina to Maine, with the most severe flooding occurring in Atlantic City, N.J., New York City and Long Island and along the Connecticut coastline.

"People are waiting to be paid," said Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-N.J., whose district includes Atlantic City and many other coastal communities hard hit by the storm. "They're sleeping in rented rooms on cots somewhere and they're not happy. They want to get their lives back on track and it's cold outside. They see no prospect of relief."

House Speaker John Boehner promised a House vote on Friday after his decision to delay an action on a broader Sandy relief package provoked outrage from Northeast Republicans, including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who said he'd lost trust in GOP leaders in Congress after being promised a vote earlier this week.

About 140,000 Sandy-related flood insurance claims have been filed, FEMA officials said, and most have yet to be closed out. Many flood victims have only received partial payments on their claims.

Philip Rock has received $8,000 in flood insurance payments so far but said he is awaiting a statement on the final amount, which he expects to be much more. A house he owns in Toms River, N.J., had a $220,000 flood insurance policy. The house, which he rents out, was destroyed, and he needs to know the final payout before he can demolish it.

The house is a "total loss," Rock said. "We don't want to demolish the house and have them say, 'We have to go around and take more pictures.'"

New York, New Jersey and Connecticut were the states hardest hit by the storm in terms of damage from high winds, flooding and storm surges. The storm damaged or destroyed more than 72,000 homes and businesses in New Jersey. In New York, 305,000 housing units were damaged or destroyed and more than 265,000 businesses were affected.

The flood insurance measure is the first phase of a proposed Sandy aid package. Under Boehner's new schedule, the House will vote Jan. 15 on an additional $51 billion in recovery money. Senate action on that measure is expected the following week. Fiscally pressured local governments are awaiting that money.

"This funding will give the city and state the much-needed resources to rebuild our damaged infrastructure and provide further aid to individuals and small businesses struggling to pick up the pieces of their lives," said Rep. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y., whose district includes Staten Island, one of New York's hardest-hit areas.

Sandy was the most costly natural disaster since Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and was blamed for at least 120 deaths. Northeast lawmakers have complained that it took just 10 days for Congress to approve about $50 billion in aid for Katrina but that it hasn't provided aid for Sandy relief in more than two months.

"States and local communities need to know the money will be there before they can give a green light to start rebuilding," said LoBiondo.

More than $2 billion in federal money has been spent so far on relief efforts for 11 states and the District of Columbia struck by the storm. New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, New Hampshire, Delaware, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia are receiving FEMA aid.


© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

NASA: Engineer Vital to Moon Landing Success Dies

Sunday, 20 Apr 2014 06:10 AM

SCARBOROUGH, Maine - John C. Houbolt, an engineer whose contributions to the U.S. space program were vital to NASA's suc . . .

Man Detained after Threats at LA Times Building

Saturday, 19 Apr 2014 22:03 PM

A man suspected of making threatening statements about a shooting and forcing the lockdown of the Los Angeles Times buil . . .

Body Found by Highway Is Missing Massachusetts Boy

Saturday, 19 Apr 2014 21:42 PM

The body of a small boy apparently cast off the side of a highway in Massachusetts has been confirmed as a missing 5-yea . . .

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved