GREENWICH TOWNSHIP - Residents in several southern New Jersey towns are calling on Gov. Chris Christie for disaster relief help.
Severe rainstorms that swept through South Jersey last week caused millions of dollars in damages and left thousands of residents without power. Residents are now pleading with the governor to sign a disaster declaration to allow federal relief funding.
"There were houses black for six days and people with tree damage now homeless," says Greenwich Township Mayor George Shivery. "We have not heard from the governor's office."
Mayor Shivery says the macroburst with straight-line winds caused nearly $8 million in damage in the township and put the municipality $2 million over budget with overtime and other expenses. He claims neither Gov. Christie nor Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno have been out to assess the damage.
"All we need right now is for the governor to sign that emergency declaration so we could get things started," Shivery says.
Tens of thousands of people across the region were without power due to down trees and wires. Atlantic City Electric has brought in crews from other states to help with the repairs. Crews are working 16-hour shifts to restore power.
Greenwich Township resident Debbie Epifano says it could be almost a year before she can get back into her home, due to the damage.
"We're just totally displaced, and if you don't have a large saving...you need help," she says.
Atlantic City Electric estimates there are still hundreds without power.