Flooded residents in Cranbury, NJ feel neglected by Gov. Murphy
CRANBURY — Residents of this Middlesex County community feel they are being overlooked in their effort to recover from the flooding from Henri but the state says they're on the list.
Residents and elected officials in Cranbury told News 12 New Jersey they are upset that Gov. Phil Murphy did not visit like he did in neighboring Jamesburg and Helmetta. All three towns were drenched with nearly 9 inches of rain Saturday night and early Sunday morning.
Murphy went to a National Governors Association conference in Denver on Wednesday and is due back on Friday.
Teddy's Restaurant owner George Nikitiades expressed his frustrations on the restaurant's Facebook page and said the flooding was another "kick in the teeth" from the pandemic.
"As business owners on Main Street, we cannot begin to describe the frustration in hearing that neighboring communities have swiftly declared the destruction they’ve endured from this storm and are receiving the support and funding for affected property owners," Nikitiades said.
He was disappointed in getting a text at 10:11 a.m. for an 11:30 a.m. meeting on Tuesday.
'Hesitant and rather unclear' state response
On the township website, Mayor Michael Ferrante said the state and federal emergency responses were “hesitant and rather unclear” and encouraged residents to proceed with cleanup of their property.
He said 15-20 people attended the meeting during which the township's Office of Emergency Management collected contact information from businesses and residents.
"Concurrently, we are working to pursue state and federal disaster relief, but that will take time to determine if the impact in Cranbury rises to the level to qualify for aid. The process starts with the state reviewing damaged areas to better account for uninsured losses and determine the scope of the storm," Ferrante's statement says.
N.J. gathering information
Murphy spokeswoman Alexandra Altman told New Jersey 101.5 the state led by the Office of Emergency Management is gathering information from all the municipalities affected by Henri including Cranbury.
"The state will conduct a review of damages incurred by homeowners and government agencies to determine whether we may qualify for federal disaster assistance funding. The state has been coordinating with local officials in Cranbury and other townships to provide critical updates on this process," Altman said.
Ferrante and Denise Marabello on Thursday morning did not respond to New Jersey 101.5's request for more information.