Governor Corbett Requests Federal Disaster Assistance to Aid Jefferson County in Storm Damage

HARRISBURG, Pa. – On Friday Governor Tom Corbett asked the federal government to provide disaster aid that will help governments and certain non-profit organizations recover from powerful storm damage and significant flooding that began in late June.

In his letter to the White House, Corbett said high winds, severe thunderstorms, heavy rain, tornadoes and widespread flooding started June 26 and continued for several weeks. The impact left local governments with heavy financial burdens as they make necessary repairs to vital infrastructure and continue to provide essential services to citizens.

“I witnessed the devastation left behind by this ongoing series of severe weather, and it was evident early on that the damage is significant and our communities will require federal assistance to recover,” Corbett said.

If approved, state government, local governments and certain non-profit organizations in Allegheny, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Crawford, Fayette, Huntingdon, Jefferson, Lackawanna, Lawrence, Schuylkill, Venango, Washington, and Wayne counties would be eligible to apply for federal assistance under the Public Assistance program.

This assistance could pay 75 percent of the approved cost of debris removal, emergency services related to the disaster and repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, buildings and utilities.

Preliminary damage assessments were conducted prior to the governor submitting the letter requesting federal disaster relief and are ongoing. The counties outlined in the governor’s letter, along with state agencies, collectively exceeded more than $19.8 million in damages and costs, which exceeds the state’s threshold of $17.4 million. This figure makes Pennsylvania eligible to apply for public assistance from the federal government.

Corbett’s letter emphasizes that the estimated costs from these storms are expected to grow as assessments continue and repairs and restorations begin. In addition, the governor made clear the possibility of requesting public assistance for additional counties impacted by the storms.

Municipalities are urged to report any damages they have to their county emergency management agency. Residents are urged to report their damages to their local governments as damage assessments continue.

The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, along with other state agencies, continues to work with the affected counties, state, federal and local agencies and non-governmental entities involved in this disaster.

More information on disaster assistance in Pennsylvania is available at www.pema.state.pa.us; click on “Disaster Assistance and Updates” in the left-hand column.

The state’s ReadyPA campaign encourages citizens to take three basic steps before an emergency occurs: Be Informed, Be Prepared, Be Involved.

More detailed information, including downloadable emergency kit checklists and emergency plan templates, are available online at www.ReadyPA.org or by calling 1-888-9-READY-PA.

Source: Office of Pennsylvania Governor


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