Biden approves NJ disaster funding for July severe storms, floods
🔵 Biden has greenlit disaster aid for Warren County after July's intense storms
🔵 The heavy rains caused landslides and flooding, devastating communities
🔵 Gov. Murphy sent a letter to Biden requesting the aid in late July
Warren County residents can breathe a little easier knowing that financial help is coming one month after heavy flooding and landslides swept away homes, businesses, and roads.
President Joe Biden on Sunday approved a request from Governor Phil Murphy for federal disaster assistance to help local towns and communities devastated by the storms that began Friday, July 14, and continued into the early morning of July 16.
The funding would be available to the state and local governments, as well as some private nonprofit organizations, according to FEMA.
It comes over two weeks after Murphy sent a letter to Biden on July 28 requesting aid for storm recovery. Murphy's office said federal funds could be used for debris removal, permanent work, and loans for homeowners and small businesses.
Warren County July storm
More than seven inches of rain fell in parts of Warren County during the storms that began July 14, New Jersey 101.5 Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow said. Around 63,000 people were without power, though not all at the same time, due to the heavy rains and winds, JCP&L spokesman Chris Hoenig said.
The intense damage and dangerous conditions led Murphy to declare a state of emergency on July 16.
Murphy toured the storm damage on July 17. People who had lived in Warren County for decades told the governor that they had lost their homes and businesses to floods and mud stacked several feet high. It was a "small miracle" that no one in the county was injured, Murphy said.
"I'm shocked beyond words. The fact of the matter is I've seen this all too often in the past six years but that doesn't make this tragedy any less powerful for the folks who have suffered. And I've seen some real suffering," Murphy said.
Route 46 in Knowlton was forced to close for two weeks beginning on July 16 as a result of a stream in the Beaver Brook Wildlife Management Area that overflowed and breached a natural berm. The road was not reopened until July 30 after crews made major repairs to the berm and the roadway.
More than 130 truckloads, or 2,600 tons, of debris were removed from the site to reopen the roadway, according to the Department of Transportation.