Hurricane Sandy's Devastation Deeper than Katrina

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The devastation from Superstorm Sandy will cost New York and New Jersey $71 billion and the cleanup and recovery will take years.

Sandy destroyed more than 300,000 houses in New York alone, with widespread damage across the state.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo met with local and state officials on Monday to review damage assessments and discuss the costs to repair damage to housing, parks, and infrastructure.

"When you look at the breakdown in terms of numbers, our recovery cost is about $32 billion. Originally we estimated it to be about 30 so it's right about where we thought it would be," Cuomo said.

Cuomo said considering the state's population and amount of homes and businesses affected, the storm caused more havoc than Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

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"When you look at the damage done, the economic damage, the housing damage, the damage to commercial properties, because of the density of New York, the number of people affected, the number of properties affected was much larger in Hurricane Sandy than in Hurricane Katrina," he said. "And that puts this entire conversation, I believe, in focus."

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg will to travel to Washington, D.C., on Wednesday to make the city's case with congressional leaders.

"There are some roughly 6,000 privately owned multiple-unit residential buildings in the area, hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy - in Queens, on Staten Island and in south Brooklyn," Bloomberg said.

In neighboring New Jersey, the storm caused massive damage to the transit system and coastline.

"Tourism is a $38 billion industry for the state. That is the economic engine that drives this area," Councilwoman Maria Maruca said. "The two key things are getting residents back into their homes and getting our tourism industry rebuilt."

Residents in the state need lots of help and they're not sure how how it will take for them to recover from Sandy.

"Ninety-five percent of what I own is devastated," Toms River, N.J., resident Danny Martin said. "I don't know if I ever will. Like, I'm probably gonna take a $200,000 hit and at 65 that's quite a chunk of your savings."

Meanwhile, nearly a month after Sandy, CBN's Operation Blessing is still on the scene in both New York and New Jersey.

Volunteers have been cleaning homes and distributing food to victims. The day before Thanksgiving, volunteers served Thanksgiving dinners to victims of the storm.

Both Gov. Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg said they are optimistic they will get the federal resources needed to recover from the storm.

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Charlene  Aaron

Charlene Aaron

CBN News Reporter

Charlene Aaron serves as a general assignment reporter and helps anchor for the CBN News Channel.  Follow her on Twitter @CharNews and "like" her at Facebook.com/CharleneIsraelCBNNews.