- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 6, 2012

President Obama has signed a disaster declaration that will help the District defray $4 million in clean-up and recovery costs after Hurricane Sandy swept through the northeast United States at the end of October, closing schools and government offices in the nation’s capital.

Although the city was spared the brunt of Sandy’s impact, D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray said the disaster aid will help the city pay for debris removal, operation costs incurred by first responders and damage to roads, bridges and public buildings.

“The District appreciates the President’s decision to provide federal disaster aid, as it will defray some of the costs incurred while ensuring our residents, visitors and the federal workforce were safe and able to recover and get back to business quickly after Superstorm Sandy,” Mr. Gray said.

Christopher Geldart, director of the D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, said most of the District’s costs were related to debris removal. The federal government traditionally reimburses up to 75 percent of local costs, he said.

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