The Hudson County state legislators, along with their county commissioners, all took action yesterday to request a FEMA Major Disaster Declaration.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
” … We write to respectfully request your urgent intervention in expediting the work of FEMA’s assessment teams and the swift addition of Hudson County to the major disaster declaration,” Hudson’s three state senators and six assembly members wrote in a letter to FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell yesterday.
“We are struggling to explain the omission of our county to our many constituents who waded through neck-deep water in their own homes during Ida to get to safety and experienced total losses of their homes and cars.”
They continue that Criswell should know from her time as New York City’s Office of Emergency Management Coordinator that Hudson County provides access to the Lincoln and Holland Tunnel and is prone to flooding – not to mention the sixth most densely populated county in the United States.
Also on Tuesday, the Hudson County Board of Commissioners introduced a resolution at their caucus meeting urging FEMA and President Joe Biden (D) to issue a Major Disaster Declaration.
“Yesterday, I personally met with officials from FEMA and state OEM officials touring the area and they assured us that Hudson should be eligible for FEMA assistance. That decision should come out this week,” said Board Chair Anthony Vainieri (D-8).
North Bergen officials, as well as Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop and Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla, have all called for the same after Hudson was not included in the initial round of federal relief that went to to Bergen, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Passaic, and Somerset Counties.
Biden joined Gov. Phil Murphy (D) in Hillsborough and Manville yesterday to assess the storm impact and the governor asked Hudson, Essex, Union, and Mercer Counties to be in the next round of FEMA relief.
Last night, County Executive Tom DeGise tweeted that Hudson FEMA aid had been approved, though a formal announcement is still pending as of this morning.