When Gov. Andrew Cuomo yesterday laid out his latest request for federal aid to repair New York’s storm damage – $32.8 billion and rising, plus $9.1 to prepare for a future storm – he noted that Sandy was worse for New York than Hurricanes Katrina and Rita were in Louisiana in terms of housing damage and the number of power outages.
Katrina’s impact exceeds Sandy in terms of lives lost and overall damages ($146.3 billion compared to more than $50 billion), but Sandy’s total cost puts it just ahead of Hurricane Andrew ($44.3 billion), Hurricane Ike ($28.9 billion) and Hurricane Wilma ($18.7 billion). Katrina, Andrew, Ike, Wilma, Rita and the rest of the worst hurricanes since 1989 all resulted in supplemental appropriations from Congress, Cuomo said, as should Sandy.
“Hurricane Katrina is what everybody remembers, but Hurricane Andrew, Hurricane Ike, Hurricane Wilma, a whole alphabet, a family of hurricanes have hit this country over the past years,” Cuomo said. “There have been storms also, and floods also, and what the federal government has done is gone to the Congress and they said, ‘This region has been badly hit. They’re suffering the consequence of the loss.’ You can’t ask that region to now finance that recovery, because the region has been disabled to some extent.”