MANVILLE, N.J. (PIX11) – For more than 1,400 residents in Manville, New Jersey, who were impacted by Ida, scenes from the storm are forever burned into their memory.
“I woke up to my bed floating,” said Manville resident Katherine Saddler.
Many residents, including Saddler, are still without their homes and personal belongings, which were consumed by the storm.
Saddler was one of many Manville residents who begged for help during a public commenting session Thursday night at the local high school.
They listened as state officials explained the ongoing process to apply for, and hopefully secure some $288 million in federal assistance funding.
“I’m begging on my knees. I don’t have a home any more. I don’t have my things. I don’t feel like a person anymore,” Saddler said.
The public hearing is actually a mandatory part of the state’s application process. The paperwork is set to be submitted to Washington on Sept. 28.
The money would be earmarked for the entire state, with smaller amounts subsequently disbursed to individual, hard hit municipalities like Manville.
Ultimately, 70% of the funding would be prioritized for low- to moderate-income storm impacted residents, who would be eligible to either physically raise their home or seek a buyout.
“I’m paying my mortgage and I’m not even in my home,” said Manville resident Yaritza Zapata. “And because I make a certain amount of money, and people who make a certain amount of money don’t qualify? That is insane.”
Manville Mayor Richard Onderko said that while $288 million for New Jersey sounds like a lot of money, it’s not nearly enough.
“I believe Manville needs about $100 million to make the town more storm resilient,” Onderko said.