Congressman Chris Smith visited Howell and Middletown Townships on the second anniversary of Superstorm Sandy to assess the progress of recovery and determine remaining needs to be fought for in Washington.
Smith joined Mayor Bill Gato and Deputy Mayor Rob Nicastro at the Mariners Cover community along the Manasasquan River to the the sites of four demolished homes that had been damaged by Sandy and Hurricane Irene in 2011, and one remaining home that is slated for demolition. The homes were purchased by the township with state and federal funding.Disney Princess Chambre de rebond
In Middletown, Smith joined Mayor Stephanie Murray, Committeeman Tony Fiore, Administrator Anthony Mercantante and Public Works Director Ted Maloney in the Township’s Emergency Command Center from where Fiore directed the rescue and recovery efforts two years earlier in the aftermath of the storm, before touring three sites in the Township still in need of federal support. While in the command center Smith recalled that NBC’s Andrea Mitchell showed up and asked to interview him. “I told her to interview Fiore because he was the one doing the work. She refused, so I spent the interview talking about him and the amazing work he was doing protecting the lives and property of his community.” Fiore was Mayor during the recoveries of Hurricanes Irene in 2011 and Sandy in 2012.
Smith was one of the key legislators in Washington to push through the legislation that authorized $60 billion in federal aid for the region to recover from Sandy. He met personally with FEMA Director Craig Fugate, successfully boosting the federal share of recovery costs from 75% to 90% for clean up and restoration.
“Fortunately, FEMA awards for 90 percent of the cost of work, with a local cost share of only 10 percent, made a difference for many towns,” Smith said. “Had FEMA not raised the cost-share rate from 75 to 90 percent, many local towns would have had to come up with additional hundreds of thousands of dollars at a time when they were financially strapped and normal tax ratables such as homes and businesses were unoccupied and closed.”
Smith, Murray, Fiore and Maloney toured Ideal Beach which is slated for an Army Corp of Engineers beach replenishment, the Bray Ave Bridge over Pews Creek in Port Monmouth and a Roop Ave home still in need of demolition.
“While there is no doubt that our state is resilient and has rebuilt much of the damaged areas, there are remaining issues impacting homeowners and businesses,” Smith said. “We must continue to work to ensure that our communities will be made whole.”