Biden approves major disaster declaration in Pennsylvania
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — President Biden has declared a major disaster in Pennsylvania due to heavy rains, severe flash flooding and tornadoes in the commonwealth from the remnants of Hurricane Ida.
Biden approved a request from Gov. Tom Wolf for a major disaster declaration allowing assistance to individuals for Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia, and York counties, the White House said Friday night.
“Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster,” the announcement said.
Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures for the entire commonwealth, which the Pennsylvania governor had also requested. Damage assessments continue and more counties and additional forms of assistance may be added after they are completed.
Wolf on Aug. 31 signed a proclamation of disaster emergency allowing state agencies to ready resources and respond more quickly to requests for state assistance. He said earlier in the week that damage to public infrastructure was estimated at $117 million “which far exceeds the commonwealth’s threshold of $19.7 million.”
“Pennsylvanians will now have opportunities to receive financial assistance, which will go a long way toward replacing and restoring their property,” Wolf said in a statement Friday night.
State and federal emergency management agencies as well as county governments will be working in coming days to open disaster recovery centers in impacted communities, the governor said.