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Obama Grants Disaster Declaration for Monmouth County

Declaration made because of damage and flooding caused by Hurricane Irene

President Barack Obama has declared Monmouth County a major disaster area.

Congressman Frank Pallone, D-6, said he was notified of President Obama's decision on Saturday. Obama also declared Middlesex County a major disaster area.

Sixteen New Jersey counties are now eligible for possible : Atlantic, Bergen, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, and Warren.

Gov. Chris Christie previously requested assistance for all 21 New Jersey counties, but damage assessments need to be concluded before individual assistance can be granted to the remaining counties of Burlington, Hudson, Mercer, Ocean and Union, according to the governor's office.

"Eligibility allows New Jerseyans to apply for different types of assistance, including temporary housing, repair, replacement or other needs such as Disaster Unemployment Assistance, and Small Business Administration disaster loans," according to a release from Christie. 

Pallone had asked the administration on Thursday to make the designation in the wake of the damage caused by Hurricane Irene and the subsequent flooding. 

"This is one of the most powerful hurricanes to ever hit New Jersey and while the preparation helped prevent the initial damage from being as bad as feared, the flooding that came in the wake of the storm winds has been devastating," Pallone said. "Homes and businesses have been damaged if not destroyed in what is a real emergency that demands the help and the resources of the federal government."

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