Harry Reid: Katrina "Nothing In Comparison" To Sandy

Hurricane politics.

WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid proclaimed that Hurricane Katrina, which destroyed much of the Gulf coast in 2005, was “nothing in comparison” to Hurricane Sandy, which pummeled New York, New Jersey and Connecticut last year.

Speaking on the Senate floor Friday to encourage passage of a $9.7 billion bill to finance the National Flood Insurance Program for a surge of Sandy-related claims, Reid said the storm, which killed 125 people, was far worse than Katrina — a storm responsible for the deaths of 1,833. Katrina caused more than $108 billion in damage to the Gulf region, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Reid’s remarks from the Congressional Record:

I really do believe it is important that I have the record reflect the reason we have gotten as far as we have on Sandy is because of the senior Senator from New York. It is too bad that it has taken so long. When we had that devastation from Katrina, we were there within days taking care of Mississippi, Alabama, and especially Louisiana—within days. We are now past 2 months with the people of New York and New Jersey.

The people of New Orleans and that area, they were hurt but nothing in comparison to what happened to the people in New York and New Jersey. Almost 1 million people have lost their homes; 1 million people lost their homes. That is homes, that is not people in those homes. So I think it is just unfortunate that we do not have the relief for New York and New Jersey and the rest already. It has to be done. We have to meet the needs of the American people when an act of God occurs.

Reid’s remarks were first reported by Nevada political reporter John Ralston, and later drew criticism from New Orleans news outlets. UPDATE: The remarks were first reported by The Weekly Standard.

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