Montgomery, Bucks Counties Not Part of First Federal Disaster Aid Request
Governor asked for federal disaster aid for five counties and said others would continue to be assessed and could be added later.
Gov. Tom Corbett asked the federal government to provide disaster aid that will help governments and certain non-profit organizations in five counties recover from Hurricane Irene.
But, Montgomery and Bucks counties were not included, at least not yet. Locally, about 70 properties in Hatboro were impacted by Hurricane Irene - including severe damage to Quig's Pizza and the shuttered Old Mill Inn. Horsham officials reported only a handful of storm-related problems, including damage to several Horsham Little League fields at Deep Meadow Park.
According to a release, Corbett said that the magnitude of the damage is beyond the response capabilities of the state and affected local governments and that supplementary federal assistance is necessary.
“I traveled with the Pennsylvania National Guard and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency Director Glenn Cannon to many of the affected areas, and it was evident early on that the severe damage from Irene affected many of our roads and infrastructure,” said Corbett.
The counties of Chester, Northampton, Sullivan, Susquehanna and Wyoming collectively exceeded more than $32 million in damage based on assessments as of Friday afternoon. This figure clearly makes Pennsylvania eligible for public assistance from the federal government.
Other counties – including Montgomery, Bucks, Delaware, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Philadelphia, Pike and Wayne – continue to be assessed and can later be added to the governor’s initial request.
If approved, state government and local governments and certain non-profit organizations in certain counties would be eligible to apply for federal assistance to 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.
Governor Corbett’s letter emphasizes that the storm’s estimated costs are expected to grow as assessments continue and repairs and restorations begin.
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. It is possible that the federal government may grant assistance to individuals and businesses that suffered damage from Hurricane Irene.