Biden approves New Jersey disaster declaration in the wake of Ida

A home is seen with major damage in Mullica Hill

A home sustained major damage after a tornado touched down in Mullica. Hill, New Jersey. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

President Joe Biden has declared that a major disaster exists in New Jersey, after the remnants of Hurricane Ida caused flooding, devastation, and deaths across the state last week.

The declaration opens up federal funding to help people affected by the storm in Gloucester, Hunterdon, Bergen, Middlesex, Passaic, and Somerset counties.

The assistance covers temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs designed to help people and business owners recover.

New Jersey suffered major flash flooding that killed 27 people — more than in any other state — and has left four people missing. Multiple tornadoes also touched down in New Jersey, destroying homes, but causing no deaths.

During a tour Monday of flood-damaged Lambertville — one of New Jersey’s hardest-hit cities — Gov. Phil Murphy praised Biden’s disaster declaration.

“The fact that this declaration has been declared is a big deal,” Murphy said, “and that includes not just eligibility, but, God willing, speed.”

Residents of the six counties covered by the declaration can visit disasterassistance.gov to apply for assistance and tally up their losses. Those in New Jersey’s other 15 counties — including Mercer, where Delaware River flooding also was a factor — can visit nj.gov/ida to input their damages.

“If other counties become eligible — and we are hopeful that they will — your information will be automatically shifted from nj.gov/ida over to disasterassistance.gov,” Murphy said.

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority is providing $10 million in financial relief for small businesses and nonprofit entities with up to 50 employees in the form of grants that range from $1,000 to $5,000 dollars.

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