Long Beach is set to receive more than $6 million in federal funding that will offset its Hurricane Sandy cleanup costs.
U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced on Monday that $6.67 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency funds has been allocated to the city to cover the cost of hazardous-debris removal in the aftermath of the storm.
The debris and downed trees the storm left in its wake “posed an immediate threat to public safety,” Schumer said. In total, the city removed 156,665 cubic yards of debris, most of which was collected at a makeshift transfer station at Nickerson Beach.
“Long Beach was extremely hard hit by Hurricane Sandy, and forcing residents to pay expensive cleanup costs would be adding insult to injury,” Schumer said in a statement. “These federal funds will go a long way towards ensuring that Long Beach does not have to foot the bill for storm cleanup, and instead can continue to get back up on its feet.”
“This federal funding will provide much-needed relief for Long Island families and businesses impacted by Superstorm Sandy,” Gillibrand added. “It is critical that Long Beach has the necessary resources on the ground to recover and rebuild.”
The funds cover 90 percent of the city’s cleanup costs for hazardous-debris removal, according to Schumer’s office. Last May, FEMA was given the OK to cover most of the Sandy-related costs, and Schumer said that the additional funding would ease the financial burden on Long Beach and other municipalities that are still recovering from the storm.
Under federal law, FEMA must reimburse 75 percent of the cost of repairing public property damaged in a disaster. The agency can increase the rate, however, if the money the state receives for such repairs exceeds a predetermined amount.
In Long Beach — which had declared a fiscal crisis before the storm — Sandy caused approximately $200 million in damage. While city officials await additional FEMA reimbursements, they said that such funding helps the city with its recovery efforts.