TRENTON – Four more counties in New Jersey have been declared major disaster areas by the Federal Emergency Management Agency due to the flooding caused by the remnants of Ida.

Gov. Phil Murphy said Essex, Hudson, Mercer and Union counties were added Friday to the declaration that already included Bergen, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Passaic and Somerset counties.

“Residents now have access to the federal help they need to rebuild,” Murphy said via Twitter. “We’ll continue working with our federal partners to include all eligible counties & residents.”

FEMA damage assessments were being conducted Wednesday in Burlington, Monmouth and Morris counties and Warren County had a preliminary joint assessment meeting with federal and state officials, said State Police Superintendent Col. Patrick Callahan on Wednesday.

(Josue Lora/Governor’s Office)

Leaders and residents in the newly declared counties had complained after they were excluded from the initial disaster declaration.

“I greatly appreciate FEMA’s response to the situation here in Mercer County, where residents in some of our communities are in dire need of assistance,” said Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes, who thanked residents “for their patience and perseverance during this difficult time.”

“We welcome with open arms this disaster designation for Hudson County,” said Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., D-Paterson, whose district includes Secaucus and part of Kearny. “The devastation left by this storm on our communities is catastrophic. Many of our neighbors in Hudson County need every single ounce of help that is available to them from our federal government.”

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Residents can register for FEMA help at disasterassistance.gov. The state has said information would be transferred to FEMA that was submitted by residents of counties that hadn't yet been declared disaster areas to the state Office of Emergency Management through the state's portal.

Michael Symons is State House bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5. Contact him at michael.symons@townsquaremedia.com.


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