The $1.5 billion estimate will cover damages not already covered under private insurance, Lew said.
“If additional funds are needed to get us through the closing days of this fiscal year, we will make sure that whatever resources are needed are provided,” Lew said.
Irene would be the tenth natural disaster suffered this year to cost at least $1 billion, setting a new record for most billion-dollar disasters in a single year. The previous record was set in 2008, with nine natural disasters.
Lew said Thursday that, prior to Irene, an estimated $5.2 billion was allocated for disaster relief in fiscal year 2012.