Washington, DC -- Federal disaster aid has been made available for Pennsylvania to help residents and businesses in the counties of Bucks and Montgomery recover from the effects of Tropical Storm Allison, according to the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh said the assistance was authorized under a major disaster declaration issued for the state by President Bush. The declaration covers damage to private property from the storm that occurred over the period of June 15-17.
Under the President's declaration, Allbaugh said stricken residents in Bucks and Montgomery counties are eligible to apply for federal assistance that can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, emergency home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses. 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.
Additionally, federal funding will be available to the state on a cost-shared basis for approved projects that reduce future disaster risks.
Allbaugh, who designated the counties eligible for the aid following the declaration, indicated that more counties and additional forms of assistance may be designated later if requested and warranted by the results of further damage assessments. He named Peter Martinasco of FEMA to coordinate federal relief operations.
Martinasco said affected residents and business owners can begin the disaster application process immediately by calling 1-800-462-9029, or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY)for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will be available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.