TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- Credit rating agency Moody's Investors Service says Sandy could pose short-term financial hardships for hard-hit towns, but the storm is unlikely to affect municipal bond ratings.
Moody's says flooding, power outages and debris removal could result in lower cash flow and higher debt for towns in the short term. But since most expect FEMA reimbursements, storm costs shouldn't threaten credit quality long-term.
However, the agency warns credit ratings will suffer if FEMA reimbursements do not materialize.
Wednesday's report says spending on rebuilding should help sustain local credit ratings.
The agency is taking a more detailed look at towns that were especially hard-hit by the storm: Atlantic City, Seaside Heights, Brick and Woodbridge and Long Beach and Nassau County in New York.