Rating agency and emergency management officials say that quick work by the governors of New Jersey and New York may have saved the financial standing of many communities damaged by the storm that slammed through the mid-Atlantic region this month.

By moving rapidly to declare certain communities in their states disaster areas and to petition for federal assistance following the Dec. 10-11 storm, Gov. Jim Florio of New Jersey and Gov. Mario M. Cuomo of New York gained quick approval of aid from President Bush through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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