Feds declare major disaster declaration for six New Jersey counties

Governor Murphy, State, County, and Local Officials met with Helmetta residents affected by Tropical Storm Henri damage on Tuesday August 24, 2021. (Edwin J. Torres/ NJ Governor’s Office).

(The Center Square) – The federal government has declared a major disaster for six New Jersey counties following Hurricane Ida and ordered federal aid to complement local recovery efforts.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved a major disaster declaration for Bergen, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Passaic and Somerset counties. The storm left 27 people in New Jersey dead, and four people are still missing.

“Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster,” The White House said. Last week, President Joe Biden approved an emergency declaration for the Garden State.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy also urged residents living outside of the six counties to register at nj.gov/ida to be eligible for federal money should it open up to them.

“Many residents of our state are facing a long road ahead as they recover from Ida,” Murphy said in a news release. “I am very grateful to the Biden Administration and FEMA for their swift approval of the Major Disaster Declaration for six of our counties. I urge residents and businessowners in those counties to visit FEMA’s website and begin the application process.”

However, some New Jersey leaders want the feds to add more counties to the list.

“I’ve been touring Morris and Union counties and meeting with homeowners and business owners who suffered devastating flood damage as a result of Ida,” Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean, R-Union/Morris/Somerset, said in a statement.

“It’s clear they have the same urgent need for federal support as the six New Jersey counties that have already been declared major disaster areas,” Kean added. “I urge President Biden to extend the major disaster declaration to Union and Morris counties to ensure that all of our communities [get] the help they will need for a full and successful recovery.”

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