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Christie: New Jersey to get $20B to $25B in federal aid for Sandy

LAVALLETTE, N.J., May 21 (UPI) — New Jersey will receive between $20 billion and $25 billion of the $60 billion in federal funds set aside for Hurricane Sandy aid, Gov. Chris Christie said.

The amount New Jersey will receive is less than the $37 billion in damage the state sustained in the Oct. 29 superstorm, but Christie said he didn’t expect the federal funds to cover the total damage amount because they hadn’t in previous storms, The (Newark) Star-Ledger reported Monday.

“There’s never going to be enough money … to repair all the damage,” Christie told an audience in Lavallette Sunday at the start of his Shore Tour. “We had about $37 billion in damage. We’ll wind up getting somewhere between $20 billion and $25 billion in federal aid.”

During Christie’s stop in Lavallette, borough council members and Mayor Walter LaCicero drove the final nails into the last of the 11,000 planks used to rebuild the boardwalk destroyed by hurricane.

“This is a milestone in the borough’s recovery from Sandy,” LaCicero said. “And it’s also a symbol of the recovery of the entire Jersey Shore.”

Christie said residents along the coast will find a way to repair or elevate their homes through a combination of federal and state funds, insurance and bank loans.

Kevin Walsh, associate director of the Fair Share Housing Center, an advocacy group for low-to-moderate income residents, challenged Christie’s prediction.

“The administration’s plans for distributing recovery funds relies more on who is first in line than who needs the money the most,” Walsh told The Star-Ledger. “The administration has done little to ensure the people who have lost the most and are having the hardest time are the people who are most likely to get financial help.”

Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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