TRENTON - Gov. Chris Christie has requested a major disaster declaration from the federal government after severe thunderstorms struck southern New Jersey late last month.

Christie asked Monday that Atlantic, Burlington, Camden and Gloucester counties be included in the declaration.

If approved federal funds will be made available to reimburse state and local agencies for emergency work.

The decision comes after preliminary assessments showed the state met federal eligibility requirements. The June 23 storm carried high winds and heavy rain and resulted in more than $15 million worth of damage. More than 300,000 lost power.

Some criticized Christie after the storm for not seeking help sooner blaming his presidential campaign as a distraction. Christie responded that he would request federal help if warranted.