Directive Will Allow Resources to Be Focused on Hard-Hit Areas of Bergen, Essex, Monmouth, Ocean & Passaic
TRENTON – Governor Phil Murphy today signed Executive Order 33, declaring a state of emergency in Bergen, Essex, Monmouth, Ocean, and Passaic counties and allowing for the extension of state resources, as necessary and as requested, into communities most directly impacted by flooding as a result of this past weekend’s torrential rains.
“There is no doubt that parts of our state have received nothing less than historic amounts of rain, and some communities received an entire month’s worth in just a few hours,” said Governor Murphy. “I am signing an executive order declaring a state of emergency for Bergen, Essex, Monmouth, Ocean, and Passaic counties. This will allow us to focus resources into the most impacted areas, as necessary. Our job as public officials, first and foremost, is to ensure that everyone is safe, especially since we may not be out of this weather pattern yet and more rain may still fall on already saturated ground.”
On Saturday, August 11, and Sunday, August 12, several communities received between five and eight inches of rain, exceeding what should be the expected rainfall for the entire month. As a result, numerous neighborhoods experienced significant localized flooding, driving residents from their homes and shuttering businesses. Municipalities along waterways are also dealing with cleanup of downed trees, mud, and other storm-related debris. The National Weather Service has indicated that more storms may hit New Jersey, further complicating cleanup in affected communities.
Governor Murphy urged impacted residents and businesses to carefully document all property damages caused by floodwaters to the appropriate County Office of Emergency Management. Businesses may also account for revenues lost due to the floods. Local officials should continue to document damages for debris removal, such as downed trees and mud from streets, and emergency protective measures, such as sandbagging or pumping out flood water.
Governor Murphy urged all New Jerseyans to exercise caution when traveling into rain-impacted areas. He stressed that motorists should not attempt to cross flooded streets, and to remain vigilant for power lines that may be brought down by falling trees.
Residents may visit ready.nj.gov for information on how to build an emergency preparedness kit, plan ahead, and prepare your family for emergencies. The NJ Office of Emergency Management provides important weather updates and safety information on Twitter at @ReadyNJ.