N.J. Gov. Holds Follow-Up Briefing with Mayors of Towns Impacted by Flood

July 25, 2004

New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey late last week inspected the Route 70 temporary bridge put in place due to the recent heavy flooding and thanked Department of Transportation workers for their hard work to restore traffic.

“On behalf of the thousands of New Jersey motorists who use this highway every day, thank you for your hard work,” said McGreevey. “You responded to the crisis swiftly and effectively and worked around the clock to open this bridge two days ahead of schedule.”

Work was to soon begin to replace the damaged bridge. The temporary bridge will remain in place until a permanent bridge is built.

After inspecting the Route 70 temporary bridge, McGreevey held a follow-up meeting with Mayors of surrounding flood-damaged towns at the Southampton Municipal Building. This was the Governor’s third visit in the affected area and he has met and held several conference calls with local officials on an ongoing basis since the recent floods.

“Since declaring the State of Emergency for Burlington and Camden Counties, state and local officials responded to the flood crisis in a rapid manner and worked continually to protect public safety,” said McGreevey. “Residents should rest assured that we will continue to make every effort to help all the affected communities.”

To date, close to $50 million in damages have been reported in Burlington and Camden Counties. Eight-hundred individuals have already filed claims with FEMA over the telephone. FEMA is expected to begin sending checks to individual homeowners as early as this week.

McGreevey also informed local officials that the Joint Budget Oversight Committee, at his request, has authorized $2.2 million to DEP for emergency repairs to municipal dams and $5 million to DCA to assist municipalities in meeting their required match for Federal funds. Thirty million dollars is also available in low-interest loans for dam owners and communities to make needed repairs to dams that have not failed.

The New Jersey Department of Agriculture is also available to help farmers with any problems or concerns created by the storm and resulting floods. With the Presidential Declaration, emergency loans through the Farm Service Agency became available to farmers, which carry an interest rate of 3 and 3/4 percent.

“The state is doing all that it can to help in the recovery and assist victims in returning to life as they knew it before the floods,” added McGreevey.

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