Biden asked to declare disaster in Pennsylvania due to storm

Regional News

A car flooded on a local street as a result of the remnants of Hurricane Ida is seen in Somerville, N.J. Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Gov. Tom Wolf is asking President Biden to declare a major disaster in Pennsylvania due to heavy rains, severe flash flooding and tornadoes in the commonwealth last week from the remnants of Hurricane Ida.

The governor is seeking a major disaster declaration allowing assistance to individuals for Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia, and York counties. He is seeking public assistance for those counties and Fulton County as well as hazard mitigation grants to be available for all 67 counties.

“This storm brought historic rainfall and flooding, as well as rare tornadoes, devastating many communities,” Wolf said in a statement. He said officials believe damage assessments so far meet federal government thresholds and called the request “another necessary step in the process to recover from the impacts of this terrible storm.”

The major disaster declaration would provide federal funding and services to eligible individuals and households and federal funding to local, county and state governments. Businesses would be eligible for aid through the Small Business Administration.

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 damage to public infrastructure to date is currently estimated at $117 million “which far exceeds the commonwealth’s threshold of $19.7 million.”

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