Schumer on $2 Billion FEMA Grant for Sandy Relief: ‘God Works in Mysterious Ways’

‘It’s hard,’ the senator said, ‘arguing with these legislators from rural America who have no understanding’ of New York’s needs

Sen. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-N.Y.): “They say God works in beautiful and mysterious ways and we had the devastation of Sandy but it gave us the opportunity to provide the kind of capital to rebuild good parts of NYCHA better than before. 

So for instance, the old boilers - people didn’t get heat. The old electrical systems - there were blackouts and brownouts. With these new systems there will be none of these. So even for the people not affected by Sandy their lives are going to be made much better. The kind of capital we never would have had to do on our own was provided by this and it’s going to make people’s lives better in a whole lot of different ways. 

Lobbies are going to be much more beautiful. Every lobby that was flooded will be built back and built back in a much nicer and better way. So that was what we wanted to happen in Sandy because to just rebuild it back the way it was before made no sense. And now it will be better, better for everyone whether you were flooded or whether you were not if you’re in a building that had the difficulties that it had. 

Findings in two categories: repair and mitigation; $1.5 for repair and restoration, $1.5 for mitigation meaning if God forbid a future storm occurs, the residents won’t have to go through the horror they went through last time. And we know as the mayor said because of climate, the way the climate is changing, we will go through some kind of weather disaster like this again. 

The mitigation will be used to dry flood proof certain utilities, elevate boilers, install flood barrier systems for the lower level buildings - all to protect us from future floods. So it’s a massive investment. A banner day for FEMA and I’m confident with these repairs and more NYCHA homes will be better protected. 

So I want to just say Mayor de Blasio has been a great partner in our effort to build back stronger and better than ever and I am just thrilled. This is — you know, when you work so hard on the legislation and it’s midnight and you’re arguing with these legislators from rural America who have no understanding of what is needed, and you go on and on. 

It’s hard not as hard as the lives people had here after Sandy, but it’s hard. But then to be able to say that we’re here today and now people’s lives are going to be so much better. It makes it all worthwhile. So I’m glad to be here and be part of this. Thank you.”

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