US President Joe Biden directed federal aid for a total of 11 counties in New York and New Jersey which were affected by flooding due to Hurricane Ida, by approving major disaster declarations on Monday.
Biden's disaster declarations cover Bergen, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Passaic, and Somerset counties in New Jersey and Bronx, Queens, Kings, Richmond, and Westchester counties in New York.
The White House on Monday announced President Biden's Tuesday visit to New Jersey and New York City. He will survey storm damage in these places. At least 27 people in New Jersey and 13 in New York City lost their lives due to the storm.
The record rainfall last Wednesday overwhelmed rivers and sewer systems in 6 eastern states, claiming at least 50 lives. Some people were trapped in fast-filling basement apartments and cars or swept away as they tried to escape. The storm also spawned several tornadoes.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said that President Biden's major disaster declaration will allow individuals to receive assistance, including grants for temporary housing and home repairs and low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses. The Governor was touring flood-damaged areas of Lambertville on Labor Day.
Murphy informed that another emergency declaration was issued last week that enabled state, county, and local governments to get reimbursed for disaster spending.
Murphy said he will ask President Biden to add other counties to the major disaster declaration during his visit.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul said an initial assessment found that the storm damaged more than 1,200 homes and caused about $50 million in damage to public infrastructure and property. Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said damage to city infrastructure was estimated at $35 million.
In the Hudson Valley, Metro-North said commuter rail service will return for Tuesday morning's rush hour after crews removed several feet of mud from the tracks and restoring washed-out slopes and ballast. Two of the four tracks on the Hudson line remain out of service for repairs between Riverdale and Tarrytown.