Murphy: Feds Sign off on Disaster Relief for Four More Counties

Murphy

Governor Phil Murphy just said at an event that the feds approved Essex, Hudson, Union and Mercer for federal disaster relief in the deadly aftermath of Tropical Storm Ida.

That was the question dogging President Joe Biden when he visited New Jersey earlier this week.

Sources at the time said the feds would imminently designate the additional counties for flood relief.

But it was a nearly week-long slog.

From the beginning, other counties and other towns wanted equal access to FEMA disaster relief.

Biden approved major disaster declarations Monday greenlighting federal aid for people in six New Jersey counties and five New York counties affected by devastating flooding last week from the remnants of Hurricane Ida.

“Why do citizens have to be excluded by address rather than need as caused by the exact disaster?” Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (D-28) wanted to know. “More deaths in New Jersey than Louisiana.”

The governor said he got it.

“If you are not in those six counties, we are not done,” Murphy said during a news conference Wednesday afternoon. “Our work is not done. We’re continuing to work with FEMA and county leaders across the state to expedite damage assessments and have those counties added to the major disaster declaration. This was truly a statewide event, and it demands a statewide response. We made this case directly to the president as well as the FEMA administrator.”

Today, he formally announced the additional counties that can apply for disaster relief.

U.S. Rep. Albio Sires (D-8) released the following statement after the Federal Emergency Management

Albio Sires
U.S. Rep. Albio Sires

Agency (FEMA) announced that the Major Disaster Declaration in New Jersey following Tropical Storm Ida would be expanded to include Hudson, Union, and Essex Counties

I am pleased that the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) has expanded the Major Disaster Declaration to include Hudson, Union, and Essex Counties, which were devastated by Tropical Storm Ida. The expanded declaration will allow residents in these counties to apply for funding through FEMA’s Individual Assistance and Public Assistance programs. I want to thank the Biden administration, FEMA, Governor Murphy, my colleagues in the New Jersey delegation, and all the local leaders who have worked with me to ensure our communities can access the resources they need to work towards recovery.” 

In response to President Biden’s decision today to add Union County to the list of New Jersey counties to the Major Disaster Declaration, Senator Joseph Cryan (D-Union) and Senator Nicholas Scutari (D-Union/Middlesex/Somerset) issued the following statement:
“We would like to thank President Biden for adding Union County to the Major Disaster Declaration. We and other local, county, and state officials expressed our disappointment over the county initially being excluded from this vital aid, but, we were very pleased to hear the news of its addition today.
“Union County suffered unprecedented rainfall, flooding and damage as the remnants of Hurricane Ida wreaked havoc across the State. With this necessary addition, many families throughout the county will be able to apply for aid to assist them as they attempt to regain normalcy after this extraordinary weather event. Our most affected communities will now be able to take advantage of critical resources needed for temporary housing and home repair grants, as well as other programs that will cover uninsured property loss.
“As more information becomes available, we will be sure to share it as we continue collaborating with our partners at the local, county, state and federal levels. Among our next steps is to coordinate with FEMA to establish a Disaster Recovery Location within the county where residents can meet directly with FEMA representatives. Our goal is for all of our residents who were affected by the storm’s devastating effects to receive all assistance possible as they begin the rebuilding process.”
The inclusion of Union County in the Major Disaster Declaration allows residents to have access to the three main streams of federal funding to affected counties via FEMA, including:
·        Individual Assistance – Assistance to individuals and households;
·        Public Assistance – Assistance to state and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities;
·        Hazard Mitigation Assistance – Assistance to state and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations for actions taken to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural hazards.
Union County has launched a series of pop-up Hurricane Relief events throughout the County, which aim to provide assistance and casework directly to affected residents. The next event is scheduled in Rahway on Tuesday, September 14 from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Rahway Community Center, located at 3 City Hall Plaza.
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