Kyrillos and Handlin Appeal For Monmouth County Relief
Governor Chris Christie requested that President Obama declare all of New Jersey eligible for federal disaster relief as a result of Hurricane Irene. Obama responded by declaring a “major” disaster in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Passaic and Somerset counties.
Individuals affected by Hurricane Irene in those counties are eligible for grants and loans to cover temporary housing, home repairs, and other programs for individuals and businesses.
Governments and non-profits in Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland and Salem counties can apply for cost sharing funding to repair or replace facilities damages by Irene.
Federal funding is available for hazard mitigation throughout the state.
FEMA said that damage assessments would continue throughout New Jersey and that other counties could become eligible for federal relief as the surveys are completed.
Senator Joe Kyrillos and Assemblywoman Amy Handlin both dispatched letters to FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate urging that Monmouth County be added to the list of New Jersey counties eligble for federal funding.
“Last weekend’s storm wreaked havoc on the entire state, including Monmouth County, causing power outages, sever flooding and extensive property damage,” Kyrillos stated. “Public infrastructure such as roads and bridges were closed for days, families and businesses were without power and the extensive damage to trees, buildings and power lines will be a huge cost to the public. We need the same federal assistance that other New Jersey counties are receiving.
Published reports indicated that Monmouth Countysheltered 2,200 people in the Colts Neck, Holmdel and Wall high schools, and provided 4,500 meals. Governor Christie has also called on the President to declare that a major disaster area exists statewide in order to provide federal financial assistance to governments, residents and businesses.
“I urge in the strongest possible terms that the Administrator of FEMA add Monmouth County to the list of New Jersey’s disaster areas,” Kyrillos continued. “This is an accurate designation given what residents, business owners and municipalities endured during this devastating storm.”
“Hurricane Irene’s damage was not limited to five counties in New Jersey,” Handlin, R-Monmouth, said. “Communities in Monmouth County suffered extensive damage to their roads and infrastructure. And, it has been quite costly to area residents and businesses who have gone several days without power.”
County roads also sustained major damage, including a sinkhole on Hubbard Avenue in Middletown that took out a portion of the southbound lane near the Shadow Lake dam.
Governor Christie requested a federal disaster declaration for the entire state on Tuesday and on Wednesday President Obama approved the declaration, and relief, for Bergen, Essex, Morris, Passaic and Somerset counties.
“Governor Christie has shown tremendous leadership throughout this catastrophe and the federal government has been willing to work with New Jersey as we recover,” Handlin said. “Federal officials have indicated they could include more counties in the disaster declaration and I urge them to add Monmouth County because our local communities cannot fix the damage inflicted by Hurricane Irene on their own.”
The Federal Government has set up a website that allows people to apply online for assistance: http://www.disasterassistance.gov
This website consolidates the application process across several Federal agencies, including FEMA and the Small Business Administration. The website also reduces the number of forms you will ultimately have to fill out, shortens the time it takes to apply and allows you to check the progress of your applications online.
If you want to apply by phone rather than the Internet, you can call 1-800-621-FEMA (1-800-621-3362).