After days of angst after being left off the initial list on Monday, Hudson County received their Major Disaster Declaration from FEMA this afternoon.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“We just received a @fema Major Disaster Declaration for Essex, Hudson, Mercer, & Union counties for Ida damages. Residents now have access to the federal help they need to rebuild,” Gov. Phil Murphy tweeted at 12:32 p.m.
“We’ll continue working with our federal partners to include all eligible counties & residents.”
FEMA’s initial Major Disaster Declaration on Monday included Bergen, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Passaic, and Somerset Counties, stunning Hudson County officials.
In the coming days, North Bergen officials, state legislators, and the Hudson County commissioners all joined the call to give Hudson federal relief.
U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-9), who represents Kearny and Secaucus, was quick to applaud the news.
“We welcome with open arms this disaster designation for Hudson County. The devastation left by this storm on our communities is catastrophic. Many of our neighbors in Hudson County need every single ounce of help that is available to them from our federal government,” he said in a statement.
“Homes have been destroyed, businesses upended, and lives lost in this storm across northern New Jersey. We are just beginning the rebuilding process. Federal disaster declaration lets us get resources to families and our local governments so they can commence the hard work of restoring Hudson County to where it needs to be.”
Last week, Pascrell cosigned a letter to President Joe Biden (D) supporting Murphy’s request for a federal disaster designation.
He also sent a letter with his New Jersey colleagues urging quick approval for a second tranche of counties including Hudson to be approved after the initial six were announced.
Biden declared a Major Disaster Declaration for New Jersey one week ago, allowing FEMA to begin allocating funds to counties.
U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker (D-NJ) also thanked FEMA for the latest round of support in the Garden State.
“With this declaration, Essex, Hudson, Mercer and Union counties now have access to greater federal assistance and resources to help residents, families, and businesses rebuild and get back on their feet,” said Menendez.
“Last week, New Jersey experienced the devastating impacts caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida. This amended disaster declaration will allow more communities in our state to get the critical federal assistance they need for their relief efforts,” added Booker.
U.S. Rep. Albio Sires (D-8) joined his federal colleagues in recognizing the disaster declarations.
“The expanded declaration will allow residents in these counties to apply for funding through FEMA’s Individual Assistance and Public Assistance programs,” he began.
“I want to thank the Biden administration, FEMA, Governor Murphy, my colleagues in the New Jersey delegation, and all the local leaders who have worked with me to ensure our communities can access the resources they need to work towards recovery.”
Additionally, Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla thanked all state and federal partners that made this possible, indicating he was “thrilled” to hear the local declaration was official.
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Editor’s note: This story was updated with comments from U.S. Rep. Albio Sires and Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla.