The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management have announced the creation of an Interagency Waterway Infrastructure Improvement Task Force to develop strategies for repairing and restoring dams impacted by the 1,000-year storm which ravaged parts of Burlington and Camden Counties on July 12 and 13.
The Task Force will evaluate the storm’s impact upon the streams, waterways, dams and spillways in the disaster area and study means to lessen or prevent similar damage in the future.
“We plan to maximize funding mechanisms available through FEMA, the Small Business Administration, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and U.S. Department of Agriculture in order to lessen the financial burden on dam owners,” said Captain Karl E. Kleeberg, chief recovery official for the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management. “We intend to seek input from dam owners and area residents when developing repair and restoration strategies.”
The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the NJ Office of Emergency Management have partnered with the NJ Department of Environmental Protection, NJ Pinelands Commission, Small Business Association, New Jersey Office of Attorney General, Burlington County, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Department of Agriculture, New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, and the New Jersey Department of Agriculture to enhance long-term recovery in areas impacted by at-risk dams.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.