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FEMA rejects New Jersey's request for flood aid

April 22, 2011 3:11:17 PM PDT
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has denied Gov. Chris Christie's request for a "major disaster declaration" to help towns and residents recover the costs from March floods.

FEMA told the governor the damage was not severe enough.

Gov. Christie had requested aid for Passaic, Bergen, Essex and Morris counties after rain-swollen rivers flooded streets and homes.

FEMA spokesman Don Caetano told The Record newspaper the agency found that 80 percent of homeowners affected were covered by insurance. Caetano says those who weren't can work with local and state governments to get assistance.

The governor has 30 days to appeal.

Meanwhile, the state is assessing damage caused by flooding during last weekend's rain storms.

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