FAIRFIELD - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has denied Gov. Chris Christie's (R-N.J) request for a "major disaster declaration" to help towns and residents recover the costs from March floods.

FEMA told the governor that the damage was not severe enough. Christie had requested aid for Passaic, Bergen, Essex and Morris counties after rain-swollen rivers flooded streets and homes.

A FEMA spokesperson said 80 percent of homeowners affected by the floods were covered by insurance. Those who weren't can work with local and state governments to get assistance.

Christie has 30 days to appeal FEMA's decision, but it remains unknown if he will do so.

FEMA surveying flood damage in northern NJ