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Northeast Must Brace for More Ida-Type Catastrophes

The Bond Buyer

The catastrophic remnants of Hurricane Ida snuck up on Northeast states Wednesday, catching officials and the general population off-guard.

But such a storm, still delivering massive amounts of rain more than 1,300 miles from its Louisiana landfall, is no outlier, one New Jersey climate official warned. 


Several states declared disaster emergencies, which could clear paths for federal reimbursements. President Biden on Thursday pledged support in the aftermath. U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, and other federal lawmakers called on passage of an infrastructure bill with sufficient resilience components.

Typically, as long as local or state governments declare an emergency and the president signs a similar order, the Federal Emergency Management Agency can then reimburse at 90% of reasonable costs, said Alan Rubin, a principal at Blank Rome LLP and co-head of its severe weather recovery team.

After 90 days a reassessment is done and if the amounts claimed do not cover the actual costs, FEMA adjusters to evaluate the damage and, if appropriate, provide an additional 5% of the extra costs. 

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"Northeast Must Brace for More Ida-Type Catastrophes," by Paul Burton was published in The Bond Buyer on September 3, 2021.