Acting Governor Kim Guadagno Requests a Federal Disaster Declaration for Five New Jersey Counties for Tropical Storm Lee Damages
Damage Assessment Supports Request Submitted to President Obama to Obtain Assistance for Hunterdon, Mercer, Passaic, Sussex and Warren
Trenton, NJ – Acting Governor Kim Guadagno today announced that the State is seeking a Major Disaster Declaration, including a request for Public Assistance, for five New Jersey counties most impacted by heavy rain storms and flooding associated with Tropical Storm Lee. The storm conditions arose on September 6 in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Irene, included heavy rainfall in areas around the state, and resulted in significant flooding along parts of the Passaic, Pompton and Delaware Rivers. In response to the situation, the Christie Administration took action under state law, including the issuance of a Statewide Emergency declaration on August 25 for Hurricane Irene that remained in effect through Tropical Storm Lee and the Christie Administration continued to coordinate sheltering efforts, resource requests and evacuation efforts throughout the state.
“I have determined that this incident is of such severity and magnitude that an effective response is beyond the capabilities of the state and the affected local governments and that supplementary federal assistance is necessary. This series of rain related events commencing on August 14, 2011 followed by Hurricane Irene and culminating in Tropical Storm Lee have put a severe strain on state, county and local budgets,” wrote Acting Governor Guadagno.
Immediately following this storm and continuing through yesterday, a joint preliminary damage assessment (PDA) was undertaken between FEMA and state and local emergency management officials to establish that the state and counties had qualified for disaster assistance. The PDA indicated that the most severely impacted areas of the state, which qualify under Federal standards for a Major Disaster Declaration, are: Hunterdon, Mercer, Passaic, Sussex and Warren Counties. This request revises a September 9, 2011 request for a statewide Major Disaster Declaration, following the specific findings of the PDA. “Therefore, I respectively request at this time a Major Disaster Declaration for the counties of Hunterdon, Mercer, Passaic, Sussex and Warren Counties,” wrote Acting Governor Guadagno.
A letter outlining the State’s Public Assistance request was sent to President Barack Obama through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. A copy of the letter is attached to the release.