Governor Chris Christie announced today that the State is seeking a Major Disaster Declaration for eleven New Jersey counties sustaining damage as a result of a strong, unseasonable storm that brought early snow, heavy rain, and high winds to the state on October 29, 2011. The storm's conditions included high winds, rain, snow, and mixed freezing precipitation, coastal, stream and river flooding, downed trees and power lines, and associated widespread power outages. A letter outlining the State's application, a request for a Major Disaster Declaration for Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren Counties, was sent to President Barack Obama through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
"The unique, unseasonal nature of this storm, particularly in its impact on trees and power lines, rivaled the affects of Hurricane Irene in many areas of our state," said Governor Chris Christie. "State, county and local governments were confronted with extraordinary fiscal challenges related to the level of emergency response and debris clearance necessitated by this storm, which is why we quickly acted to start the process of requesting federal disaster assistance. Federal resources will help speed the recovery and bring needed assistance to those areas of the state where it is most needed."
The request follows joint preliminary damage assessments (PDAs) in affected counties that were conducted among FEMA, state and local emergency management officials. Governor Christie requested Public Assistance Grant funding for government agencies and eligible private nonprofit organizations in Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren Counties. These funds are available to reimburse the agencies for emergency work, debris clearance and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the severe storms and flooding.
Federal funding was also requested for hazard mitigation measures statewide