State officials will ask the Federal Emergency Management Agency to extend snowstorm disaster aid to Bergen and Passaic counties after the two counties were left out of last week’s federal disaster declaration, an emergency management official said.
The state’s decision was based on newly collected damage costs, according to New Jersey Office of Emergency Management spokeswoman Mary Goepfert. Officials toured the area Monday as part of a reassessment of the federal assistance.
In November, Gov. Chris Christie requested federal aid for eleven counties, including Bergen and Passaic, that were hard hit in the October snowstorm. However, when the aid was announced last week, the two counties were left out. Bergen County officials said a “clerical error” by the state caused them to miss the declaration. Goepfert disputed the county’s claim, and said new damage was added to the assessment.
State officials will make the request, but the federal government has the final say on any disaster aid. The state’s request would be sent as soon as possible, she said.
“It’s still got to be approved in Washington,” Goepfert said.
Goepfert could not immediately provide the latest damage costs for Bergen and Passaic. The amounts were now above FEMA’s required damage threshold, she said.
FEMA officials could not be immediately reached Monday night.
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