HARRISBURG, Pa. -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has obligated over $13 million to assist the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in repairing or rebuilding damaged infrastructure affected by the June flooding. The majority of the approved projects involve the repair or reconstruction of roads and bridges in various localities.
Through the Public Assistance (PA) Program, FEMA provides state and local governments with supplemental federal disaster grant assistance for disaster-related damages to their facilities, or for the cost of providing debris removal and emergency protective measures during and after a disaster. FEMA provides 75 percent of the costs of most eligible PA projects. The remaining 25 percent non-federal share will be paid by the Commonwealth.
"After the late-June floods, many roads and bridges were washed away or damaged, leaving travel in these areas difficult and sometimes dangerous," said James R. Joseph, Commonwealth Coordinating Officer for the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA). "These funds will make communities safer by repairing familiar and frequently used travel ways."
Some of the larger road and bridge projects include:
- Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has been approved for $192,029 to repair a roadway
- Susquehanna County has been approved for $1,054,217 to repair a county bridge
- Hartford Township in Susquehanna County has been approved for $331,887 to rebuild a local bridge
- Union Township in Luzerne County has been approved for $274,702 to repair a damaged road
In the early stages of the disaster, Commonwealth and FEMA officials met with potential applicants to explain the PA process. FEMA officials then met with applicants individually and further assisted them through the application process to ensure they receive all the assistance for which they are eligible.
"Roads and bridges are important to local economies," said Federal Coordinating Officer Tom Davies. "One of FEMA's goals is to help communities regain a sense of normalcy. Repairing and rebuilding familiar roads and bridges is a step in the right direction."
FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.