State of New Jersey
Executive Order #61

Governor Christine Todd Whitman

WHEREAS, torrential rains and severe weather conditions occurred in the State of New Jersey on October 18 through October 21, 1996, bringing more than seven inches of rain in parts of the State; and

WHEREAS, this heavy precipitation resulted in severe flooding in the State, with many of the State's streams and rivers overflowing for a period of several days, causing substantial damage to structures, property, roads, bridges, drainage facilities and other facilities and systems; and

WHEREAS, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, this event was the flood of record along the Upper Passaic River; the Passaic River crested above the 100-year flood stage, and the Raritan and its North Branch crested just below the flood of record, making this the second highest recorded flood; and

WHEREAS, the flooding associated with this storm was of such magnitude that many of the State's roadways were impassable, leaving many residents stranded and without electrical utilities and heat; and

WHEREAS, due to the emergent management needed to protect the health, safety and welfare of the people of New Jersey from the consequences of the severe flooding, I directed at 2 a.m. on Sunday, October 20, 1996, the activation of the State Emergency Operations Plan, including the activation of the State Emergency Operating Center in order that the center coordinate State emergency response and recovery activity; and

WHEREAS, on Monday, October 21, 1996, two State Rapid Deployment Teams were dispatched to the affected areas to assist overwhelmed local authorities with needs assessment and disaster recovery operations; and

WHEREAS, the circumstances above constituted a disaster from a natural cause which threatened and endangered the health, safety and resources of the residents of one or more municipalities or counties of this State, and which was in some parts of the State too large in scope to be handled by the normal municipal operating services;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, CHRISTINE TODD WHITMAN, Governor of the State of New Jersey, do memorialize the declaration and proclamation that a State of Emergency existed from October 18, 1996 through October 21, 1996, which emergency necessitated the exercise of emergency powers conferred upon the Governor of the State of New Jersey, pursuant to the Constitution and Statutes of the State of New Jersey, particularly the provisions of the Laws of 1942, Chapter 251 (N.J.S.A. App: 9-30 et seq.) and the Laws of 1979, Chapter 240 (N.J.S.A. 38A:3-6.1) and the Laws of 1963, Chapter 109 (N.J.S.A. 38A:2-4) and all supplements and amendments thereto.

GIVEN, under my hand and seal
this 6th day of November in the
Year of Our Lord, One Thousand
Nine Hundred and Ninety Six, and
of the Independence of the United
States, the Two Hundred and Twenty-First.

/s/ Christine Todd Whitman


/s/ Michael P. Torpey
Chief Counsel to the Governor