On the eve of the tenth anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, Rep. Chris Smith (R-Manchester) issued the following statement:
“In 2012, Superstorm Sandy struck our shore and wreaked havoc on our communities, leaving families without housing, businesses in shambles, and decimated municipalities in its wake.
“First responders courageously rescued people and faith-based organizations helped feed, clothe and shelter victims. Local and municipal leaders worked around the clock to restore normalcy to our towns. And neighbors and volunteers were on the scene helping in droves.
“Despite the crippling losses, we were happy to be alive and determined to rebuild.
"Since then we have rebuilt our homes and businesses and focused on resiliency programs that fortify our coastline and expand beach protection. We are stronger and more committed than ever to protecting our people, businesses and tourism at the shore.”
Excerpts of some of the funding Smith helped secure after Sandy:
- Despite significant initial opposition, more than $50 billion in federal funding was approved to help residents and businesses in New Jersey and neighboring states get back on their feet.
- Initially, houses of worship and their faith communities were excluded from Sandy federal disaster aid under the Obama Administration. Smith authored the Federal Disaster Assistance Nonprofit Fairness Act of 2013 to ensure religious organizations were on a level playing field with other private non-profit organizations seeking federal disaster assistance. In 2018, provisions of Smith’s bill were successfully codified into law.
- Smith fought hard and helped secure nearly $2.4 million in federal funds to reconstruct the boardwalk in Ocean Grove after the Federal Emergency Management Agency denied the grant.
- Along with his colleagues in the NJ Delegation, Smith strongly advocated for full forgiveness of the federal Community Disaster Loans provided to municipalities devastated by Sandy. An estimated $8 million in much-needed relief had been provided for towns in the Fourth Congressional District and the monies were due to be collected just as COVID imposed additional burdens on the towns. The forgiveness was secured in full in legislation signed into law last year.