Cleaning up the damage caused by Superstorm Sandy will cost New Jersey about $29.4 billion.
Gov. Chris Christie cited the estimate in a statement released Friday night, but warned that the total could go higher as the state further assesses damage.
The preliminary estimate includes damage to personal property, businesses, transportation, utilities and infrastructure. It also includes aid the state has already received and money it expects to get.
“This preliminary number is based on the best available data, field observations and geographical mapping, and supported by expert advice from my Cabinet commissioners and an outside consulting company,” said Christie.
The Jersey Shore, the lifeblood of New Jersey's $38 billion tourism industry, was hardest-hit during the storm. Christie said officials will assess the storm's impact on coming tourism seasons, and also will start to study population shifts and changes in the real estate market.
Christie says he remains committed to working with President Obama to secure federal help for New Jersey.
“We will continue to provide immediate relief for our citizens who were struck hard by Sandy,” Christie said. “But be assured, I will spare no effort and waste no time to rebuild and restore our tourism industry, our transportation and utilities infrastructure and the lives of our citizens for the long term.”