Senators Ask President to Declare Bergen a Disaster
Senators ask for money to be sent to Bergen County to help municipalities pay for storm relief and future storm clean up
U.S. Senators Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez wrote a letter to President Obama Friday asking him to declare Bergen and twelve other New Jersey counties a Presidential Disaster as a result of the Dec. 26 snowstorm.
This after Gov. Chris Christie, speaking in Freehold earlier in the afternoon, signed an application for federal aid.
The two Democratic Senators urged President Obama to send emergency assistance to municipalities dealing with millions of dollars in damages and cleaning costs.
The Senators asked the President to approve the declaration as soon as possible, so that relief could help Bergen county towns, and others throughout New Jersey, rebuild from this storm, and prepare for any future incidents that may arise.
If accepted, this declaration would bring federal money into the area to help deal with residual and future snow issues in Mahwah, and other Bergen county towns.
According to Mahwah Business Administrator Brian T. Campion, one of the possible strains on the 2011 Mayor's budget that will be presented to the Township Council later this month, might be future snow clean-up costs, due to the depletion of supplies caused by this storm.
Councilman John Spiech voiced his dissatisfaction with the clean-up done by Bergen on county-roads at the Dec. 30 Council Meeting. "We lost a full lane on Franklin Turnpike," he said. Spiech called for the Council to put in a formal complaint with the county.
The following letter is what was sent to the President:
December 31, 2010 President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President:
We are writing to urge you to grant Governor Christie's request for a Presidential Disaster Declaration and emergency assistance for residents of New Jersey devastated by the snowstorm that began on December 26, 2010. The areas affected most severely by this storm include: Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset and Union.
New Jersey was the epicenter of a powerful blizzard that struck the region beginning on December 26, 2010, causing widespread damage and requiring a full emergency response from the state's agencies. Record-setting snowfalls, reaching more than two and a half feet in some parts, accompanied by high winds caused power outages and made roads and sidewalks impassible. Despite the professionalism and dedication of emergency management personnel, the sheer magnitude of this disaster overwhelmed the limited resources of our state with high winds exacerbating an already difficult situation and making travel treacherous days after the snow stopped falling.
With millions of dollars in damage caused by this snowstorm, New Jersey is seeking a much-needed disaster declaration to assist in the recovery of these hardest hit areas. The devastation endured by New Jersey residents, business owners, and local governments merits a disaster declaration and emergency assistance. We urge you to approve this request as soon as possible to ensure the people of New Jersey can begin to rebuild and mitigate against future disasters.
Thank you in advance for your full consideration of New Jersey's request. We look forward to your prompt action on this important issue.
Frank R. Lautenberg
United States Senator
United States Senator