ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo plans to request at least $30 billion in federal disaster aid to rebuild after Superstorm Sandy, which heavily damaged parts of New York City and Long Island, an administration official said Monday.
The administration will use the money to cover repair and emergency costs, as well as infrastructure improvements, confirmed the official, who wasn't authorized to speak publicly because the details haven't been finalized.
Such improvements include repairs of bridges, tunnels subways and commuter rail lines, plus help to rebuild homes and apartments, reimburse local governments for emergency services and make loans and grants to businesses.
The plan, first reported Monday by The New York Times, was based on an estimated $50 billion in damage and would help cover the cost of improvements like a power grid meant to improve utilities' ability to find and fix outages. It would also upgrade New York City's fuel supply capacity to help prevent consumer shortages and bring new oil and gas pipelines from New England to reduce dependence on shipping the fuel.
Long lines at gas stations led to alternate-day rationing in both New York and New Jersey after the storm.
Last week, Cuomo said the storm would cost New York state $33 billion and he was counting on a commitment from the Obama administration for 100 percent reimbursement for many public costs of rebuilding.
Even before the storm, the administration had projected a $1 billion state deficit for the fiscal year with a $132 billion government budget. That deficit was expected to grow after the storm. Cuomo also raised the issue of more frequent extreme weather and studying what measures are needed to better protect New York's low-lying coastal areas.