Mercer County residents, businesses urged to register storm damage information

Photo courtesy of Princeton Police Department

Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes is urging county residents and business owners impacted by Tropical Storm Ida to report damage they sustained last week at www.nj.gov/ida, the State of New Jersey’s data collection portal.

Hughes said that while Mercer was not one of the six New Jersey counties for which FEMA has approved a Major Disaster Declaration, allowing individuals there to apply for direct assistance for Ida-related recovery, the federal agency is still evaluating damage in other counties, according to a prepared statement.

Registering damage on the state portal will help FEMA evaluate the county for potential assistance.

The portal will record basic information including name, location, damages and cost, and need from impacted residents and businesses.

“FEMA is still performing its assessment with county and state guidance, and it’s premature to say Mercer will be excluded from the Major Disaster Declaration,” Hughes said in the statement. “Our Office of Emergency Management staff toured the county with FEMA representatives to survey the damage, and it certainly was extensive in a number of our communities.”

County properties that sustained storm damage include the Park Commission’s Howell Living History Farm, Mercer County Park, golf courses and trail systems; county roadways and eight bridges and culverts, according to the statement.

Small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations in Mercer County are eligible to apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the Small Business Administration. For information, visit https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/ela/s/.

Residents in need of assistance with damage from Tropical Storm Ida may call a Home Cleanup Hotline at 844-965-1386 to be connected with volunteers from local relief organizations and community groups that may be able to assist with cutting fallen trees, removing drywall, flooring and appliances, tarping roofs and mitigating mold. The hotline will remain open through Sept. 17.