Report: New York City still dangerously exposed to next superstorm

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Despite the threat of more frequent and ferocious storms, New York City remains dangerously exposed to the next superstorm, according to a report by Comptroller Scott Stringer.

The report, "Safeguarding Our Shores: Protecting New York City's Coastal Communities from Climate Change," found that the city has spent only 54 percent of nearly $15 billion in federal funding received after Superstorm Sandy and intended to help recovery and boost resiliency.

"It's not a question of whether New York will be hit by another superstorm like Sandy, but when," Stringer said. "Yet six years after Sandy hit, we still haven't fully recovered and many of the city's homes, businesses, schools and hospitals remain dangerously exposed to the next storm."

Stringer is asking the federal government to cut red tape and streamline the process for accessing aid, urging the city to accelerate spending, and calling for a citywide resiliency plan to protect all coastal communities.

The report details the threat posed by rising sea levels and the city's slow pace of investment on resiliency projects, including money allocated to repair infrastructure, help homeowners recover, and implement large scale projects.

Stringer says the picture is even bleaker at NYCHA and NYC Health + Hospitals, where the city had only spent 41 percent and 20 percent, respectively, of federally allocated funding, leaving future tenants and patients exposed to the next large storm.

Citing the urgency of safeguarding the city, Stringer called on each level of government to redouble efforts to ensure that federal dollars are put to work protecting our shores.

He said the slow pace of investment leaves as much as $101.5 billion in property value, such as homes, hospitals and businesses, vulnerable to more frequent and more intense storms.

"We have to do more, and we have to do it now," Stringer said. "Safeguarding our shorefront is not a priority we can kick down the road, it's an emergency. Lives are at stake, homes and businesses are on the line, and futures hang in the balance. We need to act with the urgency that our climate crisis demands because time is not on our side."

CLICK HERE to read the full report and recommendations.

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