Governor Chris Christie announced today that the State is seeking a Major Disaster Declaration under the federal Stafford Act for four southern New Jersey counties that sustained in excess of $15 million in damages as the result of severe thunderstorms and straight-line winds on June 23, 2015. A letter outlining the State’s request for a Major Disaster Declaration for Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, and Gloucester counties, was sent to President Barack Obama through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
High winds and heavy rain downed trees, power-poles and electric wires and caused 330,100 power outages. The macroburst damaged buildings, roadways, and infrastructure, and left a trail of debris. These storms also damaged businesses and thousands of homes.
“Based on the information that has been collected and provided through extensive reviews of the damage, I have determined that this incident is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and the affected county and local governments, and that federal assistance is necessary to supplement the efforts and available resources of the State, county and local governments, and disaster relief organizations,” said Governor Christie. “I am specifically requesting Public Assistance for the counties of Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, and Gloucester. I am also requesting Hazard Mitigation assistance.”
The request follows joint preliminary damage assessments (PDAs) in the affected counties that were conducted by State and local emergency management officials in collaboration with FEMA. In order to be eligible for federal assistance, damage thresholds must be met at both the State and county level. The four counties noted above met the FEMA threshold as did the State. Governor Christie requested Public Assistance Grant funding for State, county and locals government agencies as well as disaster relief organizations. If approved by the federal government, these funds will be made available to reimburse the agencies for emergency work and protective measures, debris clearance and the repair of damaged roads and other public infrastructure.
For more information about federal disaster recovery programs visit http://www.disasterassistance.gov/
Declaration Process: https://www.fema.gov/declaration-process
New Jersey Office of Emergency Management: www.ready.nj.gov
A copy of Governor Christie’s letter [pdf 444kB]