Hurricane Irene Damages to be Fixed with $90 Million in Federal Money

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As we ring in the new year, Hurricane Irene may seem like a distant memory from warmer, rainier days. But recovery from the damage is not done! And New York has officially secured millions of federal dollars to rebuild.

$90 million, to be exact. Well, to be EXACT: $89,751,296.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is awarding the congressionally approved emergency relief funds to New York State to fix the damage of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced in a press release late yesterday afternoon.

The investment will help fund repairs of roads, highways, and bridges, allowing the state to improve daily commutes, the release said. The funding complements $17 million the state has already received.

The state Department of Transportation estimates that overall damage to federal aid highways from these floods will likely exceed $100 million.

Though Hurricane Irene gave New York City residents a rare chance to prepare for a major apocalypse and overall was a disappointment, let's not forget the financial burdens the city faced:

The MTA was out $110 million and estimates in September said the storm cost the city at least $55 million. (The city's handling of the hurricane was NOT an overreaction, Bloomberg said at the time -- and New Yorkers approved!)

But this latest federal investment does more than repairs, Schumer noted in the release: That's right, it will help provide jobs, too.

Onward with the long and winding road to recovery.

[SamTLevin@gmail.com / @SamTLevin]


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