Town Urges Disaster Filings As FEMA Leaves Essex County Off Aid List

By on September 7, 2021

Rushing stormwater caused the pavement on a large stretch of Claremont Avenue to buckle and peel away from the curb. The road will have to be milled, its base repaired and then repaved, and Verona is hoping for federal aid to defray the cost.

If your home or business suffered flood damage from Hurricane Ida last week, town officials are urging you to fill out this survey and send them photos or videos of the damage done and your clean-up efforts. Those materials should be emailed to Verona’s Office of Emergency Management at [email protected], and town officials ask that you include your name, address and contact information.

The documentation is critical because while a Federal Emergency was declared for the entire state of New Jersey on September 2 as a result of Ida, Essex County has been left off the Major Disaster Declaration from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The declaration could help homeowners to defray the costs that they have incurred and give towns like Verona access to aid that could repair some damage done to township infrastructure. The storm’s heavy water flow caused the Claremont Avenue road surface between Park and Cumberland avenues to buckle, and similarly damaged Afterglow Avenue near Cole Road. Township Manager Matthew Cavallo said this morning that the streets will need to be milled, their base repaired and then repaved. He is currently awaiting a price from contractors for those fixes.

Only six counties are so far on the FEMA list: Bergen, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Passaic, and Somerset, and Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. is not happy about that. “I am terribly disappointed that FEMA did not include Essex County among the areas eligible for federal recovery assistance from Hurricane Ida,” he said in a statement yesterday. “The storm was indiscriminate in how it destroyed businesses and residences, flooded entire downtown areas, buckled roads and took lives. We understood the severity of the storm and declared a State of Emergency prior to its arrival because we knew the aftereffects would be devastating. The tremendous losses by residents and businesses owners of Essex County should not be overlooked; we don’t deserve to be forgotten by FEMA. I stand with Governor Murphy in demanding the Essex County become eligible for Federal disaster relief.”

Overflowing water from Verona Park Lake flooded businesses on Bloomfield Avenue near Lakeside during the Hurricane Ida storm, and tore away at a Peckman River embankment.

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