N.J. receives federal disaster declaration for late January coastal storm

    Bay Avenue in West Wildwood is cleared of mud and debris left by flooding from the back bay. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

    Bay Avenue in West Wildwood is cleared of mud and debris left by flooding from the back bay. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

    President Barack Obama today issued a federal disaster declaration for the late January coastal storm the generated major tidal flooding in areas and dumped heavy snow throughout New Jersey. 

    The declaration allows for federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts that occurred during the period of Jan. 22-24, according to a release from The White House. 

    The storm dropped up to 30 inches of snow, cut power to 270,000 customers, and flooded several coastal towns.

    Cape May County was particularly hard hit, with the West Wildwood Police Department reporting “storm debris everywhere” on Jan. 25 after a protective back bay bulkhead burst. In Ocean County, the Beach Haven Fire Department’s station was flooded with tidal waters, and Ortley Beach’s emergency sand berm was virtually washed away. Tidal flooding was also reported in Atlantic and Monmouth counties. 

    Speaking on MSNBC from New Hampshire on Jan 25., Gov. Christie Christie said there was no remaining flood damage in New Jersey. 

    “There is no residual damage, there is no residual flooding damage,” he said. “All of the flooding receded yesterday morning. And there was no other damage. People were driving around the streets yesterday morning of New Jersey.”

    The governor subsequently requested a federal disaster declaration last month.

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