President Obama has issued a major disaster declaration for New Jersey for the late October snowstorm that played havoc with roads, trees and power lines around the state.

The declaration issued Wednesday evening paves the way for the release of federal disaster funds It covers Cape May, Essex, Hunterdon, Morris, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren Counties.

Sens. Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez and Gov. Chris Christie had written the president to request the disaster designation.

The freak autumn snowstorm dumped 19 inches of snow on some areas. Schools closed, train service was suspended in some parts of the state and more than 700,000 were left without electricity, some for several days.

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