Biden approves major disaster declaration for storm-ravaged NY, NJ

New Jersey

NEW JERSEY — A major disaster declaration has been approved for the state of New Jersey and New York days after Ida brought terrifying flooding to the tri-state area. 

President Joe Biden declared that a major disaster exists in both states and ordered federal aid to supplement state, tribal and local recovery efforts in the areas devastated by the remnants of the hurricane.

An existing emergency declaration issued last week enabled state, county and local governments to get reimbursed for disaster spending, Murphy said.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said an initial assessment found that the storm damaged more than 1,200 homes and caused about $50 million in damage to public infrastructure and property. Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said damage to city infrastructure was estimated at $35 million.

Counties covered under the declaration are Bronx, Queens, Kings, Richmond and Westchester, Gov. Kathy Hochul said.

In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Sen. Chuck Schumer and U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spent part of the morning touring of storm damage in Queens with Deanne Criswell, the former city emergency management chief who’s now administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“It breaks your heart,” the senator said while discussing the damage caused by the storm.

One resident greeted de Blasio with an arm on his shoulder and a quip about their flooded homes.

“Welcome to Woodside,” she said. “We have swimming pools in each house. So you can get your bathing suit on and take a dip with us.”

Resources for impacted New Yorkers: ny.gov/Ida

“This storm has rewritten the map,” de Blasio said.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who represents parts of the Bronx and Queens, wants to make sure insurance companies pay and compensate people fairly.

Assistance can include grants or temporary housing, home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property loss and other programs to help residents and businesses recover.

“We will send out inspectors to identify what the damages are and then reimburse them,” Criswell said.

Eligible homeowners may receive up to $34,000 from the Federal Emergency Agency.

Amid the disaster declaration, Gov. Phil Murphy continued his tour of storm-ravaged communities in New Jersey over the weekend.

On Sunday, he viewed the washed-out Main Street Bridge over the swollen Saddle River that left homes and businesses destroyed.

The president is also expected to visit the town of Manville, which saw flooding and fires.

Biden’s disaster declaration makes federal funding available to Bergen, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Passaic and Somerset counties. 

Resources for impacted New Jerseyans:

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