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NJ’s Lt. Governor Has Neighborly Stake In Sandy Relief Aid [AUDIO]

Congress on Monday passed a $50.5 billion super-storm Sandy emergency package of relief and recovery aid. Added to $9.7 billion previously approved for a federal flood insurance program, the total is roughly in line with the $60.4 billion President Barack Obama requested in December. New Jersey Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno can’t wait for the money to make its way to the Garden State.

Governor’s Office/Tim Larsen

Asked about the (Governor Chris) Christie Administration’s expectations in terms of how quickly the state can expect to see the aid, Guadagno says, “The answer to the question I think is very simply; not fast enough. You can be assured that not a day goes by that the staff doesn’t her from me about how we’re not working hard enough or fast enough……It’s something we’re committed to in New Jersey obviously, but I’m also committed to.”

Guadagno is a resident of Monmouth County, which was one of areas hardest hit by Sandy. She explains, “My next door neighbor is a single mom with two kids. She hasn’t been in her house in 92 days. Her kids go to two different schools because the school is still closed……It’s hard to go home every night and see the lights not on in New Jersey. That’s unacceptable.”

At least 3,500 families in New Jersey and New York are still living in hotels and motels paid for by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. As winter has settled in, people who still have homes but no way to heat them have taken refuge in tents set up by aid workers.

In New Jersey, 346,000 housing units were destroyed or damaged, and 190,000 businesses affected. Sandy is to blame for at least 98 deaths in New Jersey and New York.

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