TRENTON, N.J. --President Barack Obama has signed a disaster declaration to help parts of New Jersey recover costs stemming from the blizzard that dumped nearly three feet of snow in January.
The White House says federal funding is available to state and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged in Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Somerset, Union, and Warren counties.
Federal money also is available on a cost-sharing basis for snow assistance for a continuous 48-hour period during or proximate to the Jan. 22 to Jan. 24 storm in Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Somerset, Union, and Warren counties.
Sea Isle City police chief and emergency management director Thomas D'Intino is thrilled with the news. The storm caused massive flooding and beach erosion at the shore and Cape May County suffered an estimated $72 million in damage, with $26 million in Sea Isle City alone.
"The city will be able to get reimbursed for money that they spent, taxpayer money that they spent, for regular time, overtime, equipment and stuff like that," D'Intino said.
"We took approximately a $26 million hit in private and public damage. Most of it would be on our beaches," said Mayor Len Desiderio.
The mayor showed us the shoreline at JFK Boulevard where 200 feet of beach was chewed away in the storm, a $12 million loss of sand that's being replaced now as part of an ongoing project.
"This was worse than Sandy," he said.
Officials at the shore say applying for federal disaster funds will require a great deal of paperwork, but Sea Isle city shop manager Angel Dalrymple says she's glad the tab for the storm won't fall completely on local taxpayers.
"The amount of money that we would have been charged to regain what we lost would have been devastating," she said.