Nearly $1.4 million in federal funding is coming to Seaside Heights to reimburse the borough for Superstorm Sandy response and recovery work, according to New Jersey's U.S. Senators.
The money to Seaside Heights is part of $9.4 million in federal funding being distributed through FEMA's Public Assistance program throughout New Jersey, Senators Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez announced Tuesday. Seaside Heights, which was severely impacted by the storm, is being reimbursed $1,390,633 for search and rescue operations, sheltering, an emergency mobile kitchen and nonstop police protection after Sandy hit.
"It is good news that this federal funding is continuing to flow into local communities, helping them recover from the devastation of Superstorm Sandy," said Lautenberg, a Democrat and member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, which funds FEMA. "This federal aid will help pay for emergency actions taken in the immediate aftermath of the storm, as well as ongoing repairs that are rebuilding our state stronger than ever before."
Seaside Heights was battered by Sandy, as 60 percent of homes in the borough were destroyed or damaged, the highest percentage of the storm's housing impact in Ocean County. The boardwalk, an important economic driver in the summer, was destroyed but is expected to reopen on May 10.
Menendez, a Democrat who fought for federal Sandy relief in New Jersey, said that the funding is "critical" to New Jersey municipalities as the summer tourist season nears.
"There are still many challenges to face on the road to full recovery," Menendez said in a statement. "I will continue fighting for the federal resources we need to help all New Jersey communities rebuild even better and stronger than before the storm."
Also awarded funding were:
$1,257,465 to Middlesex County for repair of the boardwalk at Old Bridge Waterfront Park.
$3,714,294 to Monmouth County Public Works for the department's pre-Sandy efforts to protect against flooding, and its post-storm response work of clearing blocked roads, setting up evacuation routes and detours, and blocking hazardous areas.
$1,291,688 to Monmouth County for the Sheriff's Department efforts to provide security at shelters, conduct welfare checks, perform search and rescue operations, and operate 911 call centers following Sandy.
$1,734,561 to the Township of Woodbridge for the Township's massive debris clean-up following Sandy.
The total Sandy aid enacted by Congress is $60.2 billion. That funding includes federal money to help homeowners, businesses, communities and infrastructure repairs.