Hudson County officials were stunned to not be included in Biden’s initial major disaster declaration for just six out of New Jersey’s 21 counties this morning, which was announced by Gov. Phil Murphy (D).
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“NEW: We just received a Major Disaster Declaration for in Bergen, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Passaic, and Somerset counties. We will now have access to essential federal support to help New Jerseyans recover from Tropical Storm Ida,” the governor tweeted this morning.
“Grateful for @POTUS’s swift response.”
Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop responded before Murphy deleted and then reposted the tweet, calling it “absolutely crazy/shameful” that Hudson was not on the list.
“Governor – It is absolutely crazy/shameful that Hudson County was not included in this list. We got the storm as bad as any NJ county with higher density in population. I urge you to work with our federal reps to fix this,” he wrote.
Fulop also noted that the city’s initial estimate of infrastructure damage from Hurricane Ida is $35 million.
Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla followed a little over an hour later, tweeting that Hudson must be included as soon as possible.
“Hudson County must be included on this list, as soon as possible. Many residents & businesses suffered tremendous damage – I saw businesses that had to scramble to buy flood pumps, rip out floors, pay a contractor for repairs & suffer the loss of business until they’re back open,” he noted.
“Countless other businesses & residents have faced similar situations, and they need help – now. Hoboken & other parts of Hudson County were impacted just as much as many other regions & I urge our state & federal electeds to help ensure we get the help we deserve, without delay.”
2nd Ward Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher also questioned how Hudson wasn’t included, given their high density, the number of businesses and homes damaged, and the boil water advisory in Jersey City and Hoboken that lasted four days.
Murphy also indicated that a data collection portal has been launched for New Jerseyans outside of the aforementioned six counties to expedite the federal recovery process and that work is being done to get FEMA aid elsewhere as soon as possible.
“We’re working with the federal government to get additional counties added and New Jerseyans the support they need,” the governor wrote.
Biden initially signed off on a Major Disaster Declaration for New Jersey on Friday, allowing FEMA to begin allocating funds going forward.
Tomorrow, Biden and Murphy are set to tour Millville in Cumberland County to assess flood damage from Ida.