Governor Chris Christie today announced a total assessment of the damage sustained from Hurricane Sandy to the State of New Jersey, which places the total cost at $36.9 billion. This total accounts for the unprecedented and widespread damage caused by Hurricane Sandy to personal property, businesses, transportation and utilities infrastructure, the impact on the state's tourism industry, mitigation and prevention costs, and is inclusive of aid received to date and anticipated from federal sources including FEMA and the Small Business Administration. The total assessment includes $29.4 billion in repair, response and restoration costs previously released, plus $7.4 billion in mitigation and prevention costs that have since been determined.
"I've called this experience New Jersey's Katrina because the damage to our state is nothing that we've experienced ever before. Our top-down assessment of overall damage, destruction, and costs bears out the results of this devastation, with a cumulative total of $36.9 billion in damage," said Governor Christie. "We have a long way to go to rebuild and restore our communities, but the people of New Jersey have already shown that we are ready to meet the challenge. This assessment will help guide the way as we work to continue making steady progress for the people of our state."
Based on land and aerial assessments, over 30,000 businesses and homes were destroyed or experienced structural damage, while 42,000 homes were impacted in some other way. Over $500 million in disaster assistance has been distributed to assist impacted New Jerseyans, while 233,000 people have already registered with FEMA for individual assistance. Power outages affected millions of households in every area of New Jersey. These and a variety of other factors were all considered in determining the cost to New Jersey of Hurricane Sandy.
These revised figures form the basis of New Jersey's request for assistance from the federal government.
"Working with our partners across the Hudson, it is my pledge to the people of New Jersey that I will fight for equitable treatment as with other natural disasters that have hit our country, and support from the federal government that is commensurate with the damage wrought on our region by the storm," continued Governor Christie. "As we rebuild, it is my promise to ensure that 3, 6, or 12 months from now, I will demand the same level of effort, attention and results from government as I have in the last 30 days to recover from Sandy -- and to make us stronger, more resilient, and more prepared for future disasters than ever before."