An English poet once wrote this iconic question: “If winter comes, can spring be far behind?” (Percy Bysshe Shelley)

For township residents, the answer to this query would likely be a resounding “YES!” Spring was far, far behind, and winter seemed unending as most of the Northeast was battered by an unusual series of nor’easters this year.  

There is respite, however, for the winter weary in Jefferson Township who suffered damage during the relentless winter storm March 6-7. As spring has finally arrived, so has financial help from The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  

Thanks to a Major Disaster Declaration request by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, which was approved by FEMA, residents of Morris County are among those eligible for federal reimbursement for damages caused by the March 6 and March 7 storms.

The Declaration also provides funding for statewide hazard mitigation projects to help protect against future disasters.

The early March storm dropped well over a foot of the white stuff on the township, which was battered by yet another nor’easter later in the month.

“Alleviating the suffering and damage which resulted from the dangerous weather conditions during the March nor’easter is a crucial step towards recovery,” Murphy said, in announcing the help from FEMA.

We may be on the brink of summer, but there are parts of New Jersey that are still recovering from storms that raged some three months ago. The March 6 nor’easter that continued into the following day dropped 27 inches of snow throughout the state, causing nearly $20 million in damages and resulting in over 342,000 power outages, many of them in the township.

The recovery effort will continue to be coordinated by the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management (NJOEM), noted Colonel Patrick Callahan who added, the office will manage the effort “with local, county and federal partners in the counties.”

In addition to Morris County, Bergen, Essex, Passaic and Somerset counties are included in the FEMA disaster funding.

Information about NJOEM, including coordinators for Morris County, is available at  http://www.ready.nj.gov.

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Maria Weiskott is a Jefferson Township resident and a forty year veteran of the publishing profession. An award-winning journalist and editor, she served in top managerial positions at numerous business-to- business newspapers and magazines including Reed Elsevier and Fairchild Publications. Early in her career she operated a local newspaper in the Passaic Valley towns of Little Falls, Totowa and the former West Paterson. Following retirement, she launched a “ghostblogging” service that provides social networking update and blogging services for small and medium sized businesses. Maria travels widely with her husband and is a passionate photographer. She can be reached at maria.weiskott@thejeffersonchronicle.com.

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