Representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency arrived in the region yesterday and conducted the first step to get local agencies and residents money for damages from Saturday’s storm.

Atlantic County Public Information Officer Linda Gilmore said representatives from FEMA arrived yesterday to begin the damage assessment process and were expected to continue today. This is first step in the process for federal disaster declaration, she said.

Lt. Jeff Mottley, of the New Jersey State Police, said assessment teams will be in Atlantic and Cumberland counties today. They will survey the area and attempt to determine how much damage occured from the storm.

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The next step will be to make a reccomendation to the governor's office to request the federal government to declare a federal disaster area. If that passes then residents will be able to apply for FEMA money, he said.

"This is the first step in the process," he said.

Gilmore also said county officials are working on a debris management plan to help address removal of waste from the storm. The county hopes to announce drop off locations later today where both municipalities and residents will be able to bring tree branches and debris.

In the meantime the county is asking residents to separate household waste from tree debris to help expedite regular trash pick up.

“With so many residents having to dispose of spoiled food, we don't want it sitting out in the hot sun and high temperatures and creating any public health issues,” she said.

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