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Sandy Causes $29.4 Billion in Damages; State Seeks Fed Help

Christie administration promises to rebuild

The most severe and destructive storm to ever hit the Jersey Shore also left a record-high price tag: $29.4 billion in damages.            

The Christie administration has completed a preliminary analysis that puts the price of Sandy's destruction at the costly figure.

The estimate will be further refined in the days ahead, officials say.

The preliminary number is based on empirical data, field observations and geographical mapping, and supported by "expert advice" from the administration's cabinet members and an outside consulting company, said Governor Christie.

“In a short period of time, we put together a comprehensive and responsible estimate, which may increase in the weeks ahead, and I stand ready to work with our Congressional delegation and the Obama administration to get the funding support New Jersey expects and deserves in the aftermath of this catastrophe," Christie said. 

Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., said he talked to Christie about the preliminary cost analysis, and promised to try to get funding help.

"This cost analysis is a critical step in our effort to move a strong emergency funding package forward in Washington," he said. "The people of New Jersey can rely on the congressional delegation to work with the Obama Administration, Governor Christie and our colleagues to deliver the funding necessary for New Jersey families, communities and businesses to recover and rebuild so that we're stronger than ever before."

Lautenberg is the vice chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, and a member if the full Appropriations Committee, which will write the Sandy emergency funding package. The governor said he will continue to provide immediate relief for New Jersey residents who were struck hard by Sandy.

“But, be assured, I will spare no effort and waste no time to rebuild and restore our tourism industry, our transportation and utilities infrastructure and the lives of our citizens for the long term,” he said.

The preliminary cost estimate is inclusive of aid received to date and anticipated from federal sources including FEMA and the Small Business Administration.

The estimate will likely be refined further to consider and include the long-term impact on the next tourism season, shifts in population, impact on real estate values and other factors, officials say.

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