Storm costs for NJ much higher than predicted, report says - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Superstorm Sandy

Storm costs for NJ much higher than predicted, report says

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Much of the boardwalk and theme rides were destroyed in Seaside Heights, N.J. Much of the boardwalk and theme rides were destroyed in Seaside Heights, N.J.
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Superstorm Sandy has taken a much larger financial toll on New Jersey's residents, businesses, and municipalities that previously estimated, according to a new report from a nonpartisan group.

The cost from the destruction and rebuilding, including estimates for uncovered costs, could rise by the billions, according to the report, which is called "Extreme Weather, Extreme Costs: The True Financial Impact of Hurricane Sandy on New Jersey Homeowners, Businesses and Municipalities." The report comes from US Strong, a nonprofit that says its mission is to protect communities from extreme weather.

"Things are changing, so we are going to have change," state Sen. Robert Singer, a Republican, said in a statement released by the US Strong. "Across the nation, we're seeing intense storms, more frequent storms, and unfortunately greater catastrophes. There has to be a permanent funding source, so we don't sit there and wait and say, 'Does Congress like us this year or not?' We have to look into how to fund this dedicated fund. We have to look at all avenues."

The report shows that the toll from the storm has topped $70 billion; more than half of that price tag is for New Jersey alone. Of that amount, the New Jerseyans will have to deal with $8 billion to $13 billion not covered by federal or state aid. But the toll won't end there, the report said, because that could rise by a lot.

US Strong compiled the report using a team of journalists who interviewed dozens of New Jersey residents and local officials. (You can watch some of the interviews HERE.)

"We cannot just talk about the need for emergency relief and storm preparedness," Curtis Fisher, the co-author of the report, said in a statement. "We need to fund it to protect the New Jersey shore and other communities across the country from extreme weather."

US Strong is calling for the creation of a dedicated federal fund to help communities prepare for and respond to extreme weather. With a dedicated fund in place, affected communities wouldn't have to wait for the U.S. Congress to pass disaster relief packages.

www.USStrong.us

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