TRENTON – As he did after Hurricane Irene, Gov. Chris Christie has sent a letter to President Barack Obama seeking to have 11 counties that were hard hit by the Oct. 29 freak snowstorm declared major disaster areas.
The storm’s high winds, freezing rain, snow, and flooding downed trees and power lines, resulting in numerous power outages across the state.
The counties Christie is seeking the disaster declaration for are Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren counties.
“The unique, unseasonal nature of this storm, particularly in its impact on trees and power lines, rivaled the affects of Hurricane Irene in many areas of our state,” Christie said in the letter.
“State, county and local governments were confronted with extraordinary fiscal challenges related to the level of emergency response and debris clearance necessitated by this storm, which is why we quickly acted to start the process of requesting federal disaster assistance.
“Federal resources will help speed the recovery and bring needed assistance to those areas of the state where it is most needed.”
Christie requested funds for emergency work and debris clearing done by government agencies and private nonprofit organizations in the counties.
Federal funding was also requested for hazard mitigation measures statewide.
At its height, some 750,000 homes were affected by the snowstorm, with the state’s northern counties especially hard hit.