(The Center Square) – New Jersey is slated to receive more federal funding to help the state recover from a devastating storm last year that killed 30 people, and destroyed hundreds of homes.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said, New Jersey will receive an additional $149 million in Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery funds to help communities recover from the impacts of Hurricane Ida. The storm carved a path of destruction across the state in March 2021.
The funding is part of an initial round of $2 billion in disaster relief for hurricane-stricken communities approved by Congress as part of a stop-gap spending bill. Gov. Phil Murphy said the additional federal aid will be used to expand his administration’s Hurricane Ida Action Plan, which focuses on helping low-income and moderate-income homeowners rebuild, assisting tenant households with their rent, and investing in flood mitigation projects.
“Successfully rebuilding our communities after devastating storms and natural disasters is a collaborative effort between local, state, and federal government,” Murphy said in a statement. “With this funding, more New Jersey residents impacted by Hurricane Ida will receive the support they need to rebuild their homes and communities will be able to recover and become more resilient to future storms.”
HUD officials say the funding comes on top of $288 million New Jersey received in May, as part of a major disaster declaration in response to the storm.
Overall, the state has received more than $377 million from HUD’s Hurricane Ida-related assistance programs.
Meanwhile, the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced on Monday that New Jersey is getting another $5.6 million in federal funds for debris removal, and structural repairs as a result of damages caused by the storm.
FEMA is providing $4 million to Somerset County for debris removal, while Essex County will get more than $1.5 million to repair the township’s public library that was severely damaged during the storm
Members of the state’s congressional delegation who pushed for the additional disaster funding welcomed the Biden administration’s release of the funds.
“When natural disasters strike, it’s crucial we come together to help communities rebuild,” Sen. Cory Booker, D-New Jersey, said in a statement. “This federal funding will help our state make necessary repairs to damage caused by Hurricane Ida and move us closer to full recovery.”
Sen. Bob Menendez, R-NJ, also praised the Biden administration for its “quick response” and for “ensuring New Jersey has the resources to rebuild.” He vowed to push for more federal funding to prepare New Jersey for the possibility of more devastating coastal storms in the future.
Ida was one of the strongest storms to hit New Jersey in recent years, claiming at least 30 lives, causing widespread flooding and power outages, as well as, millions of dollars in damages to homes and businesses.