EDISON - One year ago this week, New Jersey prepared for the first hints of Hurricane Irene; a storm that caused significant damage to many parts of the state.

As the storm approached, Gov. Christie called for the largest coastal evacuation in New Jersey's history. By the time the storm made landfall it was downgraded to a tropical storm but still claimed the lives of 11 New Jersey residents.

In Cranford alone, 70,000 tons of debris was removed and an estimated $25 million in damages to homes and other buildings was inflicted.

State and federal officials say the millions of dollars in aid and low-cost loans approved for New Jersey have not been able to meet the demand of residents who are still grappling with the storm's fallout.

The storm changed the way the Board of Public Utilities deals with requests from utilitiy companies for rate increases. The BPU now considers how those companies respond and react following major storms.