A spate of storms ripped through the Delaware Valley during the week of June 17, and Haddonfield was not spared Mother Nature’s wrath.
A post on the borough’s Facebook page from Friday, June 21, advised residents that Haddonfield would be working with officials from Camden County to gather information for a possible FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) declaration. Residents were further instructed to submit their name, address and damage estimates to the borough offices in the event of any damage sustained due to the storms no later than Monday, June 24.
The post additionally advised residents of the presence of damage assessment officials from Camden County who might knock on doors on certain affected roadways: Concord, Lafayette and Heritage, Elm, North, Estaugh, Homestead, Barberry and Station, and might be able to assess damage on Kings Highway and Tanner, should time permit.
According to borough administrator Sharon McCullough, Camden County officials toured Haddonfield all day on Saturday, June 22 to witness the storms’ aftermath. They visited approximately 80 to 85 homes and had an estimate – just from those homes – of $2.7 million in damages. McCullough further revealed to The Sun that the actual damages far exceed what was observed in just those areas, as can be seen by the significant increase in trash and debris.
“The process is that the three counties (Burlington, Camden and Gloucester) will submit their information to the state, which will review it. If everything works out, the state will present information to the governor’s office, which will then submit that to FEMA,” McCullough said in an email exchange with The Sun.
“The process could take a few weeks. I do know that state employees were also down looking at the municipal damage today (June 26).”
Per deputy borough clerk Kate Lafferty, the total number of borough residents who emailed in pictures of damage to their property – as of Thursday, June 27 – totaled 63. However, Lafferty said the total damage estimate in dollars was unknown at that time.
“I know they (damage assessors who visited the borough) were looking to come up with a magic number, somewhere in the region of $12.6 million in damage over the three counties, which would make it possible to receive FEMA money, said Commissioner John Moscatelli.
“So, Congressman Norcross contacted them and said, ‘hey, let’s get out there and try to get all the information we can.’ It’s in our best interest, too, because if there is money out there, I believe we can get up to 70 percent of what we have to spend to fix two of those headwalls that blew out and the other problems that we have to get taken care of. If we can get federal money for it, we’ll take it.”
On June 27, the borough shared a post on social media for the Multi-Agency Resource Center, operating out of Gloucester City, which is attempting to provide resources for those affected by storm damage in Camden and Gloucester counties.
According to the post, the MARC will be open on Sunday, June 30 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Gloucester City High School, 1300 Market St, Gloucester City. Among the entities that are scheduled to attend are the American Red Cross, Catholic Charities, U.S.A., as well as county agencies, such as the Office of Emergency Management. All who attend are required to bring proof of address.
“Unfortunately the FEMA process can be very long. We will get as much information out concerning the process and offer whatever assistance we can as soon as we hear if there is a declaration or not,” McCullough said.