This weekend, I toured some of the flood damage in Bergen County. Accompanied by local elected officials, police and fire chiefs, and emergency management officers, I visited communities in New Milford, Rochelle Park, and River Edge. And, as the rivers begin to recede to pre-flood levels, there is little doubt that the damage is severe.
I have joined with all of my colleagues in the New Jersey delegation to ask the President to declare parts of New Jersey a federal disaster area. These letters echo the official requests by Acting New Jersey Governor Richard Codey. I have also written to FEMA to encourage them to make assessments and disaster declaration recommendations as swiftly as possible.
FEMA is continuing to work with local emergency management offices to assess the damage from last week’s nor’easter. FEMA had Preliminary Disaster Assessment Teams and resources such as generators pre-positioned in New Jersey before the storm to facilitate quick assessment. I am hopeful that actual aid will be available to residents, municipalities, and businesses soon.
As soon as the preliminary assessments are completed, the President will be able to determine if the threshold for a federal disaster declaration has been met. Once such a declaration is made, FEMA will set up regional disaster recovery centers at which citizens will be able to apply for relief. As soon as more information becomes available, I will be certain to get the word out. In the meantime, if you would like to get an idea of what may be available, you may want to visit https://www.fema.gov/assistance/index.shtm.
Furthermore, you may be interested to know that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) extended the deadline for tax filings for those directly impacted by the storm. The IRS initially extended the deadline by 48 hours, but it then extended the deadline a second time to Thursday, April 26th. For more information on this extension, visit the IRS’ website, https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=169543,00.html.
Member of Congress