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Pallone, Menendez, Booker Lead NJ Delegation Call for President to Issue Major Disaster Declaration for 11 Counties Hit Hard by Isaias

October 1, 2020
Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) and U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker today led a congressional delegation letter to President Trump supporting Governor Phil Murphy’s request for a Major Disaster Declaration, making the state eligible for more federal resources as areas recover from damage caused by Tropical Storm Isaias that battered New Jersey in August. The request covers 11 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Monmouth, Morris, Salem, and Sussex. A copy of the letter is available here.

“We are writing to urge you to approve this request to ensure New Jersey receives the assistance it needs to fully recover from this storm,” the lawmakers wrote. “Tropical Storm Isaias dumped up to five inches of rain in some parts of New Jersey, and damaged public and private property with tropical storm force winds. Approximately 1.4 million New Jersey residents lost power during the storm, which knocked down power lines and forced water systems to run on emergency power.”

The delegation noted that the statewide damage assessment was more than double the threshold set for fiscal year 2020, straining already strapped state and local resources, and that the majority of the costs relate to debris removal.        

The letter was signed by Senators Menendez and Booker and Representatives Pallone, Donald Norcross (NJ-01), Jeff Van Drew (NJ-02), Andy Kim (NJ-03), Chris Smith (NJ-04), Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05), Tom Malinowksi (NJ-07), Albio Sires (NJ-08), Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-09), Donald Payne, Jr. (NJ-10), Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11), and Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12).

In August, Pallone led the entire New Jersey delegation in the House of Representatives in calling on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to extend its deadline for the State of New Jersey to finalize its Preliminary Damage Assessment in the wake of Tropical Storm Isaias. He also demanded answers from JCP&L’s company executives on its failure to adequately prepare for and respond to major storms and called on the company to reimburse customers for food and medications lost as a result of the storm’s prolonged power outages.