Mark Wilson, Getty Images
People walk across Beach Ave. as floodwaters from Hurricane Sandy rush in on Oct. 29 in Cape May, N.J.
By Malia Rulon Herman and Brian Tumulty, Gannett Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - New York, New Jersey and other states hit by
Superstorm Sandy will get $5.4 billion in the first wave of recovery
money approved by Congress, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said Tuesday.
The funds come from the Community Development Block Grant
program of the the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
States have said that money will be critical for rebuilding because the
block grant program offers them flexibility to use the money where it's
"The work it took to pass the Sandy aid bill is
starting to pay off," Schumer said in a statement. "We know there is
desperate need and anxious waiting in the places hit by the storm, and
we will be making sure that this money gets to homeowners, small
businesses and communities as quickly as possible."
New York will
get 65% of the first round of block grant money, or $3.5 billion, with
about half ($1.8 billion) going to New York City and the rest ($1.7
billion) going to other parts of the state.
The remaining $1.9 billion will be split among Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey and Rhode Island.
and New York City must submit plans to HUD explaining what they want to
do with the money. Additional details will be released in mid-February
on specific projects that will be funded.
The money comes from the
$50.5 billion disaster relief bill passed by Congress and signed into
law last month. That bill contained $16 billion for states through the
block grant program, meaning about $10.6 billion remains to be
Tuesday's announcement comes more than three months
after the Oct. 29 storm wiped out entire communities in coastal New York
and New Jersey. It killed more than 100 people in 10 states - 41 in New
York City alone - and left tens of thousands of people homeless. Mass
transit systems were paralyzed and power was cut to more than 8 million