Six Months Later: Disaster Assistance Climbs Past One-Half Billion Dollars

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Release date: 
March 6, 2012
Release Number: 
4025-133

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Six months after Irene and Lee devastated portions of eastern Pennsylvania, disaster assistance to support the ongoing recovery topped one-half billion dollars, announced officials of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.

“These back-to-back storms prompted a massive response,” said FEMA’s Federal Coordinating Officer Thomas J. McCool. “Looking back, the numbers tell the story.”

Among the statistics to date:

  • 94,385 persons registered for assistance
  • 83,888 damage inspections were completed
  • $139.9 million in Individual Assistance grants were approved:
    • $126.7 million in housing assistance including temporary housing, home repairs, and personal property losses and
    • $13.1 million in dental, medical, and funeral costs and other serious disaster-related expenses not covered by insurance
    • $17.9 million in maximum grants were awarded to 595 survivors
  • $93.5 million in low-interest disaster loans were approved by the U.S. Small Business Administration
  • $301.2 million in claim payments were distributed through the National Flood Insurance Program
  • $755,568 in Disaster Unemployment Assistance was approved
  • 19,247 contacts were made by FEMA mitigation specialists at local home improvement centers in 15 disaster-impacted counties
    • At Lowe’s Home Improvement centers, mitigation experts distributed 10,642 publications on building techniques that can lessen the impact of future disasters; 35,200 publications were distributed at Disaster Recovery Centers
  • Recovery officials continue to transfer residents displaced by the storms from temporary to more permanent housing
    • 268 temporary housing units in nine counties remain occupied

Aid to help rebuild infrastructure

  • Also to date, more than $18 million in Public Assistance (PA) funding has been reimbursed to the commonwealth to repair or replace taxpayer-owned infrastructure such as roads, bridges, utilities, schools, and similar facilities
  • There are an estimated 6,000 PA projects from among 1,900 applicants that could result in additional federal funding of more than $200 million

The response included four separate Presidential declarations

  • Soon after Hurricane Irene devastated portions of eastern Pennsylvania, Public Assistance (PA) was authorized for emergency protective measures in 13 counties. The disaster declaration that followed on Sept. 3 authorized funding for all PA categories
  • Tropical Storm Lee prompted a response that funded PA for emergency protective measures in 42 counties. The Sept. 12 disaster declaration provided PA funding in all categories for 29 counties and Individual Assistance for 19 counties
  • There were 592 FEMA and 90 commonwealth and/or other federal agency employees working fulltime and overtime during the height of the recovery
    • Additionally, more than 550 employees of the commonwealth, representing approximately 15 agencies, helped staff the temporary Disaster Recovery Centers. They answered questions on a number of issues, including mental health counseling, driver’s license replacements, emergency food program resources, farm damage, and much more
  • Recovery efforts continue with 283 FEMA employees and 131 from the commonwealth or other federal agencies. Sixty-five commonwealth residents were hired by FEMA to support the ongoing recovery
  • In addition to the Joint Field Office in Harrisburg, temporary FEMA/Commonwealth operating facilities were opened in Sayre and Wilkes-Barre
  • Twenty-three temporary Disaster Recovery Centers were established at locations selected to be ...
Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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