More than 200 houses of worship damaged in Superstorm Sandy have applied for aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. But given the separation of church and state, it's unclear whether federal funds are available to them.
The sanctuary of Temple Israel of Long Beach, N.Y., was flooded with more than 10 feet of saltwater in some places, says Rabbi David Bauman.
"Roughly 5 to 7 feet [of water] in most, and there were surges — particularly in our mechanical room — that went upwards of 12 to 14 feet," he says.
Billions in damages and not enough in the bank account — that's where federal officials find themselves in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
The White House says it will send an emergency funding request to Capitol Hill this week — expected to be $50 billion to $60 billion. Top administrators told Congress on Wednesday that they want at least some of that money to go toward preventing the kind of devastation caused by Sandy and other recent storms.
Political leaders from the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast have not been shy about their intent to seek as much federal funding as possible for their storm-struck states. Damages and lost economic activity as a result of Hurricane Sandy have been estimated as high as $50 billion.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y., wants $30 billion in federal assistance to help rebuild his state. This request, and others, come at a time when Congress is already consumed with reducing the deficit.
Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 3:46 pm
NPR's Zoe Chace made her way to Coney Island in Brooklyn this afternoon. There she found residents making line at a FEMA processing center.
Zoe spoke to DeQuan Franklin and Roberta Johnson, who wanted to apply for emergency relief. They said in all their time living in New York they've never seen anything like this. Franklin says he's had to walk 20 minutes to find an open store. He said she had to walk almost 70 blocks to find a laundromat.
"The neighborhood doesn't look nothing like it did a few days ago," DeQuan said.