Federal Major Disaster Declaration for Atlantic, Cumberland, Salem Counties Devastated by June 30th Storms
Freeholder Director Carl Kirstein announced that Atlantic, Cumberland and Salem counties have received a federal major disaster declaration by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for significant damage caused by severe storms on June 30th, 2012. The declaration provides federal support for State, County and Municipal Governments to receive assistance for emergency work and repairs or replacement of disaster damaged facilities.
“The thunderstorms that hit the South Jersey region on June 30th, 2012 crossed all three counties producing straight line winds that knocked down trees, utility poles, power wires, and left widespread debris across Cumberland County. Tens of thousands of Cumberland County residents were left without electricity. Many roads were left impassable. Just in the city of Vineland, more than 100 utility poles and more than 40 transformers had to be replaced. Many traffic lights were left without power after the storm, and debris was wide spread across the county. County property is still being cleared of brush and debris”, said Freeholder Sam Fiocchi, Chairman of the Department of Public Property & Personnel Committee.
The damage caused by the June 30th storms was severe to county property, resident’s homes and businesses. This was a devastating storm for Cumberland County, just as it was for Atlantic and Salem Counties, the damage from the storm was extensive and it was prudent for Cumberland County to request federal assistance. “I’m happy to report that President Obama granted a major disaster declaration to Cumberland County as well as Atlantic and Salem counties. This declaration will provide the federal assistance needed for Cumberland County to clean up and return to normal,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Tom Sheppard, Chairman of the Dept. of Finance Committee.
“President Obama issued a major disaster declaration, triggering the release of Federal funds to help State, County and Municipal Governments like Cumberland County recover from the damages caused by the severe storms that hit our area. This disaster declaration and the assistance programs that follow will be instrumental in Cumberland’s recovery”, said Freeholder William Whelan.
“This declaration provides the federal assistance needed to clean up and recover from the damage caused by the June 30th storm. It gives Cumberland County the necessary resources to clean up and rebuild”, said Cumberland County Freeholder Tony Surace, Chairman of the Public Works Committee.
“I want to express my gratitude to Acting Governor Kim Guadagno for her support and the continued support of her office throughout this entire process. Her support and concern for the safety of our residents is greatly appreciated. I also want to thank Congressman Frank LoBiondo for his unwavering dedication and continued support of Cumberland County as well as the residents in all of the South Jersey counties that were damaged by these storms”, said Cumberland County Freeholder Director Carl Kirstein.
On Wednesday July 11th, Acting New Jersey Governor Kim Guadagno petitioned the Federal Government for a major disaster declaration in Atlantic, Cumberland and Salem counties, citing destruction in each of the counties and their activation of their Emergency Operating Centers. Congressman Frank LoBiondo agreed with the Acting Governor’s assessment and petitioned President Obama on behalf of residents and businesses in his district affected by the storms.
Under the Federal Disaster Declaration, FEMA-4070-DR, that was approved for Cumberland County; Public Assistance for emergency work and repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities, and assistance for action taken to prevent or reduce long term risk to life and property from natural hazards has been approved. Cumberland County’s request for Individual Assistance, which could provide assistance to individual households in the county, is still under review and has not been approved or denied by President Obama.