Congressman Bill Pascrell

Representing the 9th District of NEW JERSEY

Pascrell And New Jersey Delegation Support Governor's Request For Federal Emergency Designation

Apr 20, 2007
Press Release

PATERSON— U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-08) joined the entire New Jersey delegation in sending a letter to President Bush supporting the formal request made by Acting Governor Codey for a federal emergency declaration for New Jersey.  Pascrell sent the letter, as seen below, after touring the damaged regions of the Eighth Congressional District with Senator Robert Menendez, Sheriff Jerry Speziale and Col. Aniello Tortora of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District, this afternoon.

April 20, 2007

President George Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

We are writing to urge your immediate review and swift approval of Acting Governor Codey’s request that parts of Burlington, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Morris, Passaic Somerset, and Union counties and potentially other regions of New Jersey, be declared major disaster areas as a result of the devastating storms and flooding on April 15-17.

Over eight inches of rain fell in parts of these counties over the course of the storm, causing widespread flooding, breaching dams, washing out roadways, collapsing bridges, and damaging several hundred homes and businesses. This storm, the second worst in state history, dropped more rain than any storm since 1882. These downpours resulted in the evacuation of approximately 5,000 New Jerseyans and were responsible for the deaths of at least three.  Currently, over a dozen roads and bridges remain closed.

Our residents need swift help from the federal government to begin to put their lives back together and replace property that was destroyed.  Once a disaster is declared under the Stafford Act (§401), badly needed services, grants and other financial assistance for disaster-related needs become available to citizens such as homeowner assistance for repairs, serious medical needs, Small Business Administration loans, unemployment assistance, legal advice and many other forms of assistance.

We know that the rebuilding of these areas and of peoples lives will take a long time.  New Jersey has not seen devastation like this in many years.  So we urge the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to immediately establish Disaster Recovery Centers throughout the area so that our constituents can quickly get the answers and assistance they need.

We appreciate your attention to this matter of critical importance to the people of New Jersey.

                                                                  Sincerely,

                                                                  The New Jersey Senate and House Delegation

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