Press Release
Senator Jim Holzapfel Senator Jim Holzapfel (R-10)
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Contact: Kate Cocozza / (732) 840-9028
April 5, 2010
Ciesla, Wolfe & Holzapfel Call on Federal Government to Award Ocean County Disaster Aid

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Senator Andy Ciesla and Assemblymen Dave Wolfe and Jim Holzapfel (all R-10) were dismayed to learn that residents of Ocean County do not qualify for federal assistance to relieve any damages obtained during the March 12, 2010 storm that severely hit the coastal areas of New Jersey.

FEMA announced that federal disaster aid has been made available to the State of New Jersey to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by the severe storms and flooding.

“The decision to exclude Ocean County from being eligible to apply for federal disaster aid is surprising, considering the extent of the storm damage that occurred here,” said Ciesla. “I hope this is just an oversight that we will be able to fix.”

Residents of the affected counties who were considered in the declaration are to apply for the federal assistance and will be contacted by fully credentialed Inspectors to schedule an appointment to inspect damage and to determine eligibility for any funded programs.

“Inspectors should have the opportunity to verify claims for storm damage that occurred in Ocean County,” said Wolfe. “That would make more sense than making the entire county ineligible to receive disaster relief.”

“The beaches of Ocean County are the anchor of a $30 billion tourism industry,” said Holzapfel. “In this time of economic hardship, it’s imperative that shore communities receive the disaster assistance they need to keep local economies afloat.”

The legislators respectfully call on President Obama and the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management to immediately reconsider.

“We call on the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management to without delay schedule a time to inspect the damage in Ocean County particularly its devastation to our beaches,” added Ciesla.

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