CARTERET–Mayor Dan Reiman has announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will reimburse Carteret $762,526 for emergency service and severe damage costs related to Hurricane Irene, incurred from Aug. 27 through Sept. 5, 2011.
Throughout its path, Irene caused widespread destruction and at least 56 deaths. Damage estimates throughout the United States are estimated near $7 billion.
The storm’s severity alarmed meteorologists, bringing up to 16 inches of rain and 70 mph wind gusts in parts of New Jersey, and cost the Borough of Carteret approximately $105,940.58 in personnel and administrative costs, with approximately $900,000 accounting for physical damages, according to a report submitted to FEMA by the Carteret Office of Emergency Management. The FEMA funding will comprise a 75 percent match for costs to Carteret.
Reiman had declared a state of emergency in the borough, where rainfall compromised public safety and disrupted transportation, calling for the closing of several roads and limiting access to public facilities, food, and emergency services. Power had been lost throughout much of the borough, due to extensive flooding and downed wires. Emergency shelters were designated by the Mayor’s administration, which also provided transportation for residents without power or whose homes had been seriously damaged.
Some of the town’s most severely affected public areas were its parks, where overland flooding caused an estimated $696,847.80 in soil erosion and damages. Restored parks included:
- Shorecrest Park
- Carteret Park
- Chrome Park
- Waterfront Park
- Cornell Park
- Parkview Park
- Grant Avenue Park
The borough’s pump station at Bergen Street suffered an additional $26,795.00 in damages, while others required approximately $10,000 in maintenance.
Carteret’s emergency service departments played a significant role during the storm, opening roadways, restoring utilities, performing “swift water rescues” from stranded vehicles, and transporting residents with storm-related injuries to medical facilities. An estimated 1,050 cubic yards, or 71.78 tons, of downed trees and vegetation was removed from Carteret’s public areas and streets and through residential curb-side collection.
Reiman said, “we are grateful that President Obama has recognized the severity of the storm’s effects in Carteret. The declaration of Middlesex County as a Federal Disaster Area will help to offset the substantial cost in manpower, resources, and damages, which otherwise would have been borne by our local taxpayers. We certainly recognize all of our emergency service workers who demonstrated their skill and experience during Hurricane Irene, as well as their commitment to a safer Carteret.”
Federal reimbursement will assist with the following costs:
- Street clearing
- Curbside collection
- Municipal buildings – pumping & restoration
- Call & response
- Traffic redirection
- Protective measures – streets
- Pump stations
- Flooding / clearing
- Damage to five municipal vehicles
- Shelters & transportation
- Downed poles
- OEM roof
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