HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Federal assistance continues to support Pennsylvania’s recovery from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. The aid now focuses on supporting whole community recovery and preparing for future disasters.
Disaster assistance to date totals more than one-half billion dollars.
“Our emphasis now is on longer-term solutions,” said FEMA’s Federal Coordinating Officer Thomas J. McCool. “Important infrastructure is being repaired, and efforts are being made to make communities more disaster-resistant.”
More than $47 million in Public Assistance (PA) funding has been reimbursed 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 federal funding of more than $200 million.
- Of the nearly 3,000 projects completed to date, about 725 have shared more than $3 million in additional funding to lessen the effects of future disasters. The effort is known as mitigation. FEMA is expected to provide more than $30 million in mitigation funding to the commonwealth when all eligible projects are complete.
Long-Term Recovery Committees (LTRC) rely on local volunteers and donations which provide assistance to individuals that helps repair, replace, and rebuild those households whose needs are beyond the legal capacity of government assistance.
These committees have been established for 20 counties: Adams, Berks, Bradford, Columbia, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Lycoming, Montgomery, Northumberland, Perry, Philadelphia, Schuykill, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Wyoming, and York.
Providing for the whole community
Long-Term Community Recovery teams have been organized in the hardest-hit areas of the commonwealth. Their objective is to help focus local goals and match the whole community’s efforts with available federal, commonwealth, and community resources.
The community recovery teams have been organized in Shickshinny, Athens, and the Wyoming Valley and Swatara Valley areas.
Other statistics to date:
- 94,385 persons registered for assistance
- 83,936 damage inspections were completed
- $141.8 million in Individual Assistance grants were disbursed:
- $128.6 million in housing assistance including temporary housing, home repairs, and personal property losses and
- $13.2 million in dental, medical, and funeral costs and other serious disaster-related expenses not covered by insurance
- $18.1 million in maximum grants were awarded to 601 applicants
- $98 million in low-interest disaster loans were approved by the U.S. Small Business Administration
- $322 million in claim payments were paid through the National Flood Insurance Program
- $874,400 in Disaster Unemployment Assistance was distributed
- Recovery officials continue to transfer residents displaced by the storms from temporary to more permanent housing
- 249 temporary housing units in nine counties remain occupied
“The strength of the partnership between FEMA and the commonwealth has helped make the best of a bad situation,” said Commonwealth Coordinating Officer John Forr. “Working together effectively has paid off for the residents of Pennsylvania.”
The ongoing recovery efforts continue with 247 FEMA employees and 73 from the commonwealth or other federal agencies. Sixty-five commonwealth residents were hired by FEMA to support the ongoing recovery
- At the height of the recovery, there were 782 FEMA and 198 comm...