After the fifth largest snowstorm in New Jersey over the past 100 years dumped nearly three feet of snow across the Garden State, Gov. Chris Christie is hoping the Federal Emergency Management Agency will be able to provide some relief.
FEMA officials will be in the state on Monday morning to assess the damage associated with last week’s blizzard.
In addition to the snow, there were winds upwards of 50 miles per hour, which added huge snow drifts along major highways and blocked snow plows and other emergency workers.
“Every on and off ramp on Route 18 was blocked. Nine DOT snow plows on the highway were blocked because of cars and tractor trailers,” said Jim Simpson, commissioner of the Department of Transportation. “We had to get front end loaders in to get the tow trucks. We had to tow the tow trucks so this was very surreal.”
Christie said more than 500 vehicles were stranded and their occupants rescued on three major roadways across the state.
“You had 280, 195 and the Garden State Parkway which had real imminent concerns of potential loss of life. On 18 the problem was we couldn’t use conventional snow plow equipment. The snow drifts on 18 were too high,” Christie said.
In total, nearly 2200 pieces of equipment were used and removal costs have yet to be totaled.
Christie hopes that they’ll be able to get money for 13 countries hit the hardest.
“And so hopefully we’ll be able to move rapidly through the process of getting the damage assessment done and getting federal reimbursements to the municipalities and counties across the state,” Christie said.