Federal Flood Aid to Pa. Reached $140M

January 25, 2005

Pennsylvania residents, businesses and municipalities received about $140 million in federal aid to help them recover from flood damage caused by remnants of Hurricanes Frances and Ivan last year.

Of that, the Federal Emergency Management Agency gave about $80.8 million in grants to more than 24,000 people who were forced from their homes, needed to do repairs or incurred other costs, such as replacing belongings and medical costs not covered by insurance.

Allegheny County, where officials said more than 10,000 homes were damaged as the remnants of Hurricane Ivan and Jeanne passed through in September, received $39.8 million from FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Aid requests from about 13,600 people were rejected, according to records the federal agency gave to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Philadelphia, which got $10.6 million from FEMA, had the most rejections — 3,273 — while nearly 5,000 received money.

In Sullivan County, a mountainous area with two state parks about 120 miles northwest of Philadelphia, more than 60 percent of applicants didn’t receive aid, largely because there are many summer homes there, said county Commissioner Betty Reibson.

“Once they call, it’s explained to them that, ‘Yes, your property may have qualified, but it’s a second home,”‘ Reibson said.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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