To date, Rhode Island has received approximately $61.4 million from federal disaster relief programs to help Rhode Island recover from Sandy.
This federal funding will provide the state with critical resources to help families, businesses, and communities that were hit hardest by the storm. It also offers communities the opportunity to take steps to better protect themselves from future storms and encourage sustainable economic growth, said U.S. Senator Jack Reed. Increasing the resiliency of our infrastructure and coastline and accounting for future risks is a smart investment that can save taxpayers in the long run and help build a stronger Rhode Island.
One year ago, Hurricane Sandy pummeled the coast of Rhode Island, wreaking havoc on our coasts and causing millions of dollars in damage, said U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, who brought President Obamas Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force to Rhode Island this July to assess the storm's damage to coastal communities. Im proud to announce this $16 million dollar grant, which will help Rhode Island communities recover from the devastating effects of the storm.
It is hard to believe that it has already been one year since Hurricane Sandy ravaged our coastline and damaged homes and businesses across Rhode Island. We are still recovering from the impacts of the storm, and these funds will go a long way in helping communities to rebuild and get stronger, said U.S. Representative Jim Langevin. This $16 million in CDBG funding is a smart investment in disaster planning that will help our state mitigate future storm damage, saving money, infrastructure and potentially lives, in years to come.
I am proud to take part in announcing new federal funding to support investments in green infrastructure development here in Rhode Island, said U.S. Representative David Cicilline. As we continue our work to get Rhode Islands economy back on the right track, we need to keep supporting green collar jobs like these for hardworking men and women in every city and town across this state.
In July, the Congressional delegation brought federal officials from the Hurricane Sandy Task Force to Rhode Island for a firsthand look at coastal communities that suffered extensive damage during Sandy. Shortly thereafter, the states action plan for spending its initial allocation of $3.2 million in CDBG-DR funds for Sandy recovery was approved by HUD.
Rhode Island has now received over $19.24 million in CDBG-DR funds for Sandy assistance.
The CDBG Disaster Recovery funding gives grantees significant flexibility in determining how best to use their funds to meet the greatest unmet needs. In general, the funds are for the restoration of housing and infrastructure as well as economic revitalization in disaster-impacted areas. The funds are to meet recovery needs that are not otherwise covered by insurance, FEMA, SBA, or other sources. Vacation homes are not eligible for CDBG-DR funds.
When Superstorm Sandy hit Rhode Island on October 29, 2012, it caused widespread devastation and affected approximately 300,000 Rhode Island residents, or 28% of the states population. Mandatory local evacuations were ordered in eight communities. Approximately 122,000 homes and businesses lost electricity as a result of the storm, and an estimated 40,000 remained without power for two or more days. The highest concentration of storm damage was located in Rhode Islands southern coastal communities. The majority of the damages in these areas occurred from storm surge and high winds.
The Office of Housing and Community Development (OHCD), within the States Division of Planning, is responsible for administering the CDBG-DR program.