225px-ChChristieTo help New Jersey municipalities and counties recover costs from this week’s severe winter snowstorm, Governor Chris Christie today signed a letter to President Barack Obama seeking a major disaster declaration to secure federal funding and ensure New Jersey communities most affected by the storm receive all possible resources to address extraordinary and unforeseen costs from the snow emergency.

“My pledge is to do all we can to help our municipalities and counties in the aftermath of the blizzard, to clean up and to ease the storm’s financial impact,” Governor Christie said.  “I want New Jersey to be in the best possible position to receive disaster aid through a prompt application to the federal government and FEMA.

”In the face of such a ferocious and unusual winter storm, our Department of Transportation, State Police and other agencies mounted an effective response, maximized resources and worked tirelessly for days. The eastern municipalities and counties most impacted also did the best they could under very difficult circumstances. There are always concerns about how things could have gone better, but the fact is this was a rare and unanticipated force of nature that hit our state, and we owe our thanks to all those who worked tirelessly to get us through it.”

In his letter to President Obama, the Governor noted that storm conditions in 13 counties exceed the standards set to qualify for federal disaster assistance.  The qualifying counties are Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset and Union.  New Jersey, through data being collected by the State Police Office of Emergency Management, will provide additional supporting information following the completion of a Preliminary Damage Assessment pursuant to FEMA’s Snow Assistance Policy.

The snowfall, which began the morning after Christmas, broke many of the historic records established and maintained by the National Weather Service and National Climatic Data Center, as described in an attachment to the Governor’s letter.

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