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THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary


For Immediate Release September 18, 1999
           PRESIDENT CLINTON DECLARES A MAJOR DISASTER EXISTS
                       IN THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY

     The President today declared a major disaster exists in the State

of New Jersey and ordered Federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area struck by Hurricane Floyd on September 16, 1999, and continuing.

The President's action makes Federal funding available to affected individuals and local governments in the counties of Bergen, Passaic, Somerset, Essex, Middlesex, and Mercer.

Assistance can include disaster housing, grants, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

Federal funding also is available to eligible local governments on a cost-sharing basis for the repair and replacement of public facilities damaged by Hurricane Floyd. Federal funding is also available on a cost share basis for hazard mitigation measures.

James L. Witt, Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), named Peter Martinasco as Federal Coordinating Officer to coordinate Federal recovery operations in the affected area.

The Agency said that damage surveys are continuing in other areas, and counties may be added after the assessments are completed.

The Agency said that residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance tomorrow by calling 1-800-462-9029, or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: FEMA (202) 646-4600

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