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July 22, 2015

Obama signs disaster declaration for New Jersey after storm

Local, state officials to receive federal funds for $15 million in damages

President Obama signed a request Tuesday from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie that declared a major disaster in New Jersey following a severe June storm, securing federal funds to aid in relief efforts. 

Christie officially submitted the request on July 14, receiving some backlash for not responding quicker, as the storm, which occurred June 23, hit four South Jersey counties particularly hard.

The storm brought heavy rains and strong straight-line winds, damaging homes and businesses and cutting off power for thousands

Now, funds from FEMA will be made available for local governments as well as select private nonprofits to help repair damaged facilities in Atlantic, Burlington, Camden and Gloucester counties. Funds will also be available to prevent future storms from creating this kind of damage in the future. 

Officials in those counties and at the state level submitted a damage assessment that totaled $15 million, prompting Christie to submit the request. 

Seamus Leary, who serves as deputy commissioner of emergency management in Orange County, New York, has been appointed Federal Coordinating Officer for the feds' recovery operation and will oversee the relief efforts in New Jersey.