Morris County News

Freeholders Say Storm Damages in Morris County Exceed $5.7 Million and Counting

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MORRISTOWN, NJ - A preliminary damage assessment estimating damages and resource allocation associated with the recent back to back storms that caused extensive damage and power outages has been released by the Morris County Office of Emergency Management.

The report estimates that the current costs are $1,920,090 for Winter Storm Riley and $3,785,774 for Winter Storm Quinn. The total estimated damage is $5.7 million.

The estimates take into account all the expenses associated with county and municipal government, inclusive of school. This number is expected to rise when more towns submit their costs, said government officials. The estimates for each storm exceeds FEMA's public assistance threshold for Morris County, stated the Freeholders.

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“Based on the numbers that have come in, Morris County has exceeded its county threshold to be eligible for federal public assistance,’’ Freeholder Director Doug Cabana said. “We now need the state to take the lead in seeking federal reimbursement to ensure that counties and towns that bore the brunt of Riley and Quinn are reimbursed.’’ 

According to officials, the state must meet a threshold of $12.8 million in storm costs incurred by counties to be eligible to request FEMA Assistance, and that could require the back-to-back blasts to be counted as one by FEMA. State Sen. Anthony Bucco said he has been in touch with Governor Murphy and the Governor’s Chief of Staff Peter Cammarano to request that the state seek federal aid for hard-hit-towns, and understood the Governor’s Office would likely combine the two storms in such a request.

“We experienced significant ground saturation and wind damage from Winter Storm Riley, causing many trees and electrical utilities to come down during Winter Storm Quinn,’’ said state Sen. Anthony Bucco. “Our municipalities are unable to sustain the significant costs associated with these storms without assistance, and our taxpayers deserve nothing less than help to deal with this natural occurrence. We look forward to getting assistance for our local municipalities and schools.”

 

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