A look at Superstorm Sandy aid in New Jersey
Following is a breakdown of aid by the numbers from Superstorm Sandy in New Jersey, where Democratic Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer has said state officials threatened to hold back funding if she did not support a development deal. The administration of Republican Gov. Chris Christie has denied the allegations.
Last year, Congress allocated $50.5 billion to rebuild after Superstorm Sandy. That is in addition to the nearly $10 billion used after the storm to replenish the National Flood Insurance Program. The emergency money is divided into many different programs.
WHAT THE STATE CONTROLS
As part of the federal aid, New Jersey received $1.8 billion last year to allocate as it saw fit, though the state’s plans were first cleared by federal officials. A second distribution of $1.4 billion is expected in coming months. This time, state officials plan to hold a public hearing about how it will be used. Most of that aid for the first round — and likely most in the second round — is going to rebuilding programs. About $745 million is in a program to cover home rebuilding and repair costs not covered by insurance or other government programs. And demand still far outstrips money available in that program.
STATE FUNDS FOR RESILIENCE
New Jersey has put $290 million of its federal money so far toward programs aimed at mitigating damage from future natural disasters. Most of that is going to programs to buy and knock down flood-prone properties and to raise homes about expected flood levels. Some smaller programs are focused on community-wide projects.
MONEY HOBOKEN HAS RECEIVED
Hoboken has received $200,000 for a program to plan for future flood events and $142,080 to implement ways to keep the lights on in the case of major power outages. The energy allocation was typical of what’s been awarded in that program; the planning grant was among the largest in the state so far.
THE FUTURE FUNDS
The funding amount and number of projects have not been set yet, but the federal government is planning to pay for some major flood mitigation programs that are being designed now. One for Hoboken would use open space to absorb floodwater and levees and pumps to control it.