Feds Release First FEMA Funds for NYC

By Michael Gormley
|  Tuesday, Dec 4, 2012  |  Updated 8:14 AM EDT
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Backhoe operator Keith Henry levels a storm-damaged home in Breezy Point, Queens, Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012.

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New York City is getting nearly $190 million in the first round of federal money to help recover from Sandy, U.S. senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand said Tuesday.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is sending $75 million to the New York Police Department to cover some of the extra staffing costs before and after the storm hit Oct. 29. New York University's Langone Medical Center will get $114 million to recover from flood damage at the hospital.

"The city's first responders and hospital workers put their lives on the line to take care of New Yorkers, and this first round of federal dollars is a down payment on making sure that at least their expenses are taken care of," said Schumer, who had taken FEMA administrator Craig Fugate on a tour of the hospital.

"Nothing beats seeing the damage with your own eyes," Schumer said.

Funds for the hospital will pay for a structural evaluation and electrical work and reimburse for the cost of leasing emergency equipment, overtime pay and the renting temporary space. It will cover about 75 percent of the hospital's expenses from Sandy.

Federal funding for other New York City hospitals is expected soon.

The NYPD is getting the money to reimburse it for staffing costs while officers were called out for rescue and security details and door-to-door checks for residents who might be in danger. It will also help cover the costs of removing some fallen trees and directing traffic as well as distributing gasoline, which was in short supply for days.

"Our NYPD officers were on the front lines before, during and after the storm to stand by their fellow New Yorkers," Gillibrand said. "These necessary reimbursements are an important step as we continue the unified effort in Washington to fully fund New York's needs for recovery and rebuilding."

These are the first awards of federal money to help New York City, Long Island and the Hudson Valley recover.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo made his pitch in Washington on Monday for $42 billion in federal aid, including $9 billion for preventive measures to reduce damage and costs from the next storm.

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