States Seek Federal Aid for Snow Cleanup Costs

March 16, 2010

Several Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States are seeking federal help to pay for the cost of cleaning up snow from a string of recent snowstoms.

In Delaware, Gov. Jack Markell has asked for federal help to help pay cleanup costs from last month’s snowstorms that hammered the state.

Markell spoke on Thursday with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and applied for federal disaster funding.

The governor’s office has released figures that show the storms cost state and local governments at least $8.8 million.

Governments would be eligible for reimbursement of three-quarters of their storm-related costs if the federal money is approved.

In New Jersey, two U.S. senators are asking President Obama to approve the state’s request to have the eight southern counties hit hardest by the Feb. 5-6 snow storm declared federal disaster areas.

Sens. Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg made the request Thursday in a letter to the president.

It notes that some of the affected areas received more than 2 feet of snow.

Counties included in the request are Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Ocean and Salem.

If approved, the declaration would free up emergency federal funding to reimburse costs associated with cleanup and repair work.

State of Emergency

Meanwhile in New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie has declared a state of emergency following a weekend of flooding and power winds that claimed at least two lines.

The declaration broadens the powers of the New Jersey State Power to respond to the situation. It also would allow National Guard troops to be called up if needed.

In signing the declaration Sunday night, Christie said he wants to ensure local and county resources are supplemented if needed.

Officials have been dealing with major flooding along the Raritan and Passaic Rivers.

More than 100,000 customers have lost electricity. Most are in Bergen County.

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