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FEMA Balks on Giving 100 Percent Coverage for Sandy Relief – Should We Expect It? [POLL]

The kumbaya moment may be over between Gov. Christie and federal officials who, apparently, have yet to respond to the Governor’s plea to pay 100 percent for full coverage for damages incurred during Superstorm Sandy.

In the face of this, one wonders what’s at the heart of this. Could it be bureaucratic red tape? A lessening of priorities since the storm happened 3 months ago?

Or maybe the feds think that covering 100 percent of the costs incurred by Sandy is just plain unreasonable.

Whatever the reason, according to this report, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has yet to officially respond to Gov. Chris Christie’s request to pay 100 percent of the state’s recovery costs from Hurricane Sandy, but the reimbursements issued thus far signal that his petition may be denied.

Since the request was made on Dec. 3, FEMA has picked up 75 percent of the costs, and not the total bill as Christie sought.

In devastated towns like Belmar, Middletown and Seaside Heights, the cost of debris removal alone could top a combined $30 million, and as a result local leaders will have to come up with roughly $7 million to pay their share of the bills. Many towns have already taken out emergency loans.

Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak said Christie’s request still stands and he hopes it will be approved.

Submerged Seaside Heights roller coaster (Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Submerged Seaside Heights roller coaster (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

FEMA spokesman Richard Gifford said the agency is still reviewing the request and will pay 75 percent of the costs in the meantime. Towns would be fully reimbursed if FEMA picks up the full tab, he said

A denial would also put added pressure on the state’s budget, which has suffered through sluggish revenue collections that have eaten away at the state’s already meager rainy-day fund.

On Nov. 30, Christie wrote to FEMA administrator Craig Fugate asking the federal government to pick up the state’s recovery expenses for at least the initial 90 days after the storm. On Dec. 3, the governor’s office issued a news release announcing Christie’s efforts.

At the time, Christie said the state’s communities could not afford to pay the standard 25 percent of the costs.

Seems not long ago all was rosy between FEMA and the state. The Governor was praising the efforts of FEMA and director Craig Fugate.

Where has the love gone…and probably more to the point, should we expect the full 100 percent coverage from FEMA…or just content ourselves with 75 percent and move on?

I’d say given the amount of money this state sends to Washington, it’s only right to expect the full 100 percent coverage. In view not only of that but also the amount of foreign aid we send to countries who’s citizens deplore our lifestyle.

Should we expect 100 percent coverage from FEMA for the damage incurred during Superstorm Sandy?

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