U.S. Sens. Frank Lautenberg and Bob Menendez today called on President Obama to fast track New Jersey’s request for a disaster declaration related to storm and flood damage caused by Hurricane Irene.
Once the declaration is made, state residents and businesses as well as local governments are eligible for federal disaster relief funds.
“The destruction will lead to severe hardship and the costs will be so great that many residents will not be able to rebuild their lives on their own,” the senators wrote in a letter to the president. “In addition, Hurricane Irene caused extensive damage to public infrastructure such as roads, bridges, public parks and government facilities, and local governments will face enormous challenges as they try to rebuild,” the Senators wrote. “Given the severe nature of the hurricane and the extent of the damage, we ask that you immediately grant a Major Disaster Declaration for New Jersey and expedite federal recovery and rebuilding aid.”
To date the storm has caused millions in damage across the state. The toll will continue to rise as flooding across the state continues. Some municipalities, including Manville in Somerset County, are underwater due to inland flooding.