Hurricane Sandy & Disaster Relief
At the time it struck Long Island Superstorm Sandy was the second largest natural disaster in our nation’s history and the most devastating and costly to affect the New York area. New York State alone experienced $32.8 billion in damage, more than $8.4 billion of which was on Long Island. In many respects, the damage was worse than Hurricane Katrina. In New York alone, over 305,000 housing units and 265,000 businesses were damaged or destroyed by the storm compared to Katrina and Rita, which damaged 214,000 and 18,000 units, respectively. More than 2 million people lost power and more than 171,000 people remained without power more than ten days after the storm.
Congress’ behavior in the aftermath of the storm was reprehensible. After a grueling fight, I led the successful effort to secure an aid package that provides roughly $60 billion for the Northeast.
I know that even over 5 years later recovering and rebuilding after Sandy is still a work in progress and far from complete. Please do not hesitate to contact my office should you have any questions or require assistance.
Hurricanes Harvey Irma and Maria
The 2017 Hurricane Season was absolutely devastating to Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Florida and the area in and surrounding Houston, Texas. In the immediate aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria I have been actively engaged with FEMA leadership, providing oversight of recovery efforts and ensuring that those on the ground receive the federal resources necessary to facilitate the quickest recovery possible.
I continue to monitor closely the recovery in Puerto Rico, which faces a particularly difficult situation because it is an island that has been completely devastated. This has made the logistics of providing aid to Puerto Rico much more difficult than Texas or Florida, which can receive assistance from adjoining states or areas that were not affected by Hurricanes. Throughout the recovery process I have also been in contact with Puerto Rico’s Resident Commissioner, Jenniffer González-Colón, providing any assistance I can as a Member of the Puerto Rico Economic Development and Prosperity Caucus.
As we know from enduring the aftermath from Superstorm Sandy, hurricane recovery is a long and extremely difficult process and areas affected by natural disasters are in need of a great deal of assistance. That is why I strongly supported the $90 billion funding package for disaster relief efforts in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Florida and Texas, and California that was recently signed into law. The largest standalone total ever appropriated for disaster relief.
FEMA Disaster Assistance:
Individuals can register with FEMA online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or via smartphone or tablet at m.fema.gov. Applicants may also call 800-621-3362 (Voice, 7-1-1/Relay) or TTY 800-462-7585. The toll-free telephone numbers operate 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. EST, seven days a week.