Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell announced that President George W. Bush has approved the Governor’s request for federal Individual Assistance (IA) for Bedford, Bradford, Clarion, Clinton, Columbia, Fulton, Jefferson, Juniata, Mifflin, Monroe, Northumberland, Pike, Snyder, Union and Wayne counties from the aftermath of Tropical Depression Ivan. With this addition, the total number of Pennsylvania counties approved for federal disaster aid is 41.
Gov. Rendell also asked Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) Director David Sanko to provide a statewide comprehensive briefing to the President during a helicopter tour over several affected areas in Western Pennsylvania.
“Federal assistance will allow people who have been devastated by flooding and severe damage to continue the recovery process, as all Pennsylvanians work together in an attempt to return their lives to normal,” Gov. Rendell said. “I am thankful President Bush approved this assistance and will continue to urge him to consider the remaining counties which will help all affected residents have a quick and full recovery from torrential rains and heavy flooding.”
The other 26 counties that have been approved for federal disaster assistance are: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Blair, Bucks, Butler, Cameron, Carbon, Centre, Clearfield, Cumberland, Dauphin, Greene, Huntingdon, Indiana, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Lycoming, Northampton, Perry, Schuylkill, Susquehanna, Washington, Westmoreland and Wyoming
More counties may be added in the future as damage assessments are done.
Gov. Rendell also said the Commonwealth has already committed to forming a task force to ensure that this and other communities are no longer ravaged by floods.
“Individual Assistance, coordinated by FEMA, can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses,” Gov. Rendell said. “Low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration also will be available to cover residential and business losses not fully compensated by insurance. The serious impact of this storm on both the immediate and long-term economy of this region and the state represents a major hardship requiring a comprehensive partnership of all levels of government for effective recovery.”
Gov. Rendell recognized the hard work and dedication of local officials, volunteers and county personnel, PEMA and FEMA staff who were able to document the extent of loss that was necessary to secure the federal funding.
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