Governor Phil Murphy on Tuesday signed Executive Order 33 declaring a state of emergency in Bergen, Essex, Monmouth, Ocean, and Passaic counties as a result of this past weekend’s torrential rains.
The order allows for the extension of state resources, as necessary and as requested into communities most directly impacted by flooding.
“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,” Murphy said.
“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 and Sunday, several communities saw 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.
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.
He also urged all New Jerseyans to exercise caution when traveling into rain-impacted areas, stressing that motorists should not attempt to cross flooded streets, and to remain vigilant for power lines that may be brought down by falling trees.
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