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Public Statements

Letter to Barack Obama, President Of The United States - Declare Nor'easter Storm Damage as Major Disaster in New Jersey

March 29, 2010

The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

We are writing to request that you quickly approve the request to declare a Major Disaster for the State of New Jersey as a result of the Nor'easter storm that severely impacted New Jersey, beginning March 12, 2010, with response and recovery continuing today.

According to the National Weather Service, strong winds and heavy rainfall during the weekend of March 12th led to severe damage throughout the state. That damage, evident in many New Jersey communities, has now been officially verified as some of the worst flooding Northern New Jersey regions have seen in almost 25 years, particularly in the Passaic and Raritan River basins. The storm impacted many areas throughout our state affecting numerous small businesses that are crucial to our state's economy. The Passaic, Pompton and Raritan Rivers in particular all reached nearly historic high crests that did not recede for days. The flooding caused severe property damage in municipalities throughout the State and thousands of residents were forced to evacuate. In Burlington County, significant flooding occurred along the North Branch of the Rancocas Creek at Pemberton and the Creek remained above flood stage for four days.

Elsewhere in the state, the Mercer County Airport was faced with a major power outage, Valley Hospital operated on an emergency generator in Sussex County causing extensive damage, a high rise crane toppled in Atlantic County, and officials report that 1,300 buildings in Morris County were damaged because of the flooding. The rising waters, combined with downed trees and power lines, led to the closing of many roads and bridges. State, county, and local first responders continue to work overtime to help safeguard life and property. There was also significant damage from strong winds, which tragically led to the deaths of two Bergen County citizens.

On March 14th, Governor Christie issued a State of Emergency for New Jersey, which remains in effect. FEMA has conducted a Preliminary Damage Assessment along with state and local officials, which showed the extent of the damage the storm has already caused.

Municipalities in New Jersey need federal assistance to help them recover from this devastation. We urge you to swiftly approve the request made by Governor Christie on March 26, 2010, to declare a Major Disaster in the State of New Jersey, which will allow federal resources to be provided for individual assistance, municipal assistance, and hazard mitigation, to help our state recover and rebuild. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Bill Pascrell, Jr. Frank Lautenberg

Member of Congress United States Senator

Christopher H. Smith Robert Menendez

Member of Congress United States Senator

Frank Pallone, Jr. Rodney P. Frelinghuysen

Member of Congress Member of Congress

Donald M. Payne Frank A. LoBiondo

Member of Congress Member of Congress

Robert E. Andrews Scott Garrett

Member of Congress Member of Congress

Steven R. Rothman Leonard Lance

Member of Congress Member of Congress

Rush D. Holt Albio Sires

Member of Congress Member of Congress

John H. Adler

Member of Congress


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