Hurricane Sandy has come and gone but the damage will be long-lasting, New York Sen. Chuck Schumer said Thursday on Hardball.
The Democrat gave an update on the storm’s destruction just hours after he toured damaged areas with President Obama. “It is awful. It’s close to Katrina,” Schumer told host Chris Matthews. The senator said there are 100,000 homes destroyed and 300,000 people without houses, in addition to many office buildings downtown which are uninhabitable. “The damage is so varied in so many different ways and so deep,” he said.
After meeting with emergency workers on Staten Island, Obama said “I’m very proud of you, New York. You guys are tough. You bounced back just as America always bounces back. The same is going to be true this time.”
Obama –who flew in a helicopter that took him over the Rockaway Peninsula and Breezy Point–said he was assigning Shaun Donovan, the federal housing secretary and former NYC official, to oversee the state’s long-term recovery from the storm.
Matthews asked Schumer if those who lost houses can get money through the federal government. The senator explained that most private insurance doesn’t cover flooding, and FEMA pays a maximum of $31,400. “You can have a bungalow, a little tiny home in New York and [$31,400] isn’t going to bring that home back.” He added that he was concerned about the GOP-controlled House’s support for disaster relief.