By David Madden

TOMS RIVER, N.J. (CBS) — Hurricane Sandy hammered parts of New Jersey and New York in late October.

And while the superstorm certainly left its mark on the South Jersey shoreline (see related news stories), and did serious damage on Long Beach Island, North Jersey was devastated.

More than two dozen people died in the Garden State.  Governor Chris Christie asked the federal government for more than $37 billion to pay for recovery.

“These are realistic numbers that we need,” Christie told reporters. “And let’s keep it in context: in Katrina, they’re already spent 112 billion dollars.  Our requests together (with New York), I think, are about 78 billion.”

The White House eventually crafted a $60-billion package that it sent to Capitol Hill.  Christie said that amount would work, given that the money will come in the form of block grants for the states to spend as they see fit.

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