WASHINGTON (AP) — The Interior Department on Tuesday said it is releasing more than $475 million to help repair the damage from Superstorm Sandy, which roared up the East Coast last fall.
The money will go for 234 projects that will repair and rebuild parks, refuges and other agency facilities damaged by the storm and help get them ready for the summer season. Some of the money will go to repairs to help the Statue of Liberty in New York reopen in time for Independence Day. Sandy spared the statue itself, but badly damaged the island and facilities surrounding the statue.
"The funding we are making available today will help repair and rebuild facilities, reopen roads, and restore services in order to get our parks, refuges, beaches, and public lands fully operational and open to the public this summer," said Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.
The department is also releasing money for historic preservation efforts and investments in scientific data and studies to support storm recovery efforts.
Sandy pounded several states in late October, especially New York and New Jersey. It was the deadliest hurricane in the northeastern U.S. in 40 years and the second-costliest in the nation's history.
The National Hurricane Center estimated Sandy's damage at $50 billion, second only to the $108 billion caused by Hurricane Katrina in Gulf Coast states in 2005. Congress earlier this year approved more than $60 billion in storm aid for Sandy victims and their communities.