In an effort to maximize the necessary FEMA and overall government funding allocated for Hurricane Sandy repair to the tune of more than $40 billion, NYC Governor Cuomo compared the effects of Hurricane Sandy to that of Hurricane Katrina, insisting that Sandy’s impact on NY was “way worse” than Katrina’s impact on Louisiana.
via New York Post
Gov. Cuomo yesterday put the first official price tag on the economic damage inflicted on the state by Hurricane Sandy — a staggering $42 billion, with $19 billion in the city alone.
He argued that the devastation wreaked by the storm statewide was worse than what Hurricane Katrina did to Louisiana in 2005.
“Hurricane Katrina, in many ways, was not as impactful as Hurricane Sandy, believe it or not,” Cuomo said. “Because of the density of New York, the number of people affected, the number of properties affected was much larger in Hurricane Sandy than Hurricane Katrina. This puts the entire conversation, I believe, into focus . . . Now Katrina had a human toll that thankfully we have not paid in this region.”
Katrina and its subsequent floods claimed 1,866 lives, compared with the more than 100 taken by Sandy.
The bottom line here is that people were devastated and lives were lost, in BOTH cases.
It’s one thing to compare the effects of these storms for statistical purposes, but to make statements comparing the level of devastation felt when there was a loss of life, of family, of homes, and of livelihood is unnecessary, insensitive and callous, especially coming from high ranking government officials who should certainly know better.
We understand that Gov. Cuomo is doing all that he can to stress to FEMA the need for recovery funds, but things are always going to be “worse” when you’re on the receiving end regardless of what statistics and comparisons say. The damage done by Hurricane Sandy alone should be enough for him to strongly build his case without doing a “better” or “worse” comparison, especially when it’s widely known that FEMA severely dropped the ball with Hurricane Katrina aid anyway.