HARRISBURG, Pa. - Governor Tom Wolf requested Wednesday that President Joe Biden declare a major disaster in Pennsylvania following heavy rainfall, severe flash flooding, and tornadoes from Tropical Depression Ida that impacted Pennsylvania, according to a news release from the governor's office.
The governor’s request includes a major disaster declaration for Individual Assistance for Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia, and York counties; Public Assistance for Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Fulton, Montgomery, Philadelphia, and York counties; and for the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program to be made available to all 67 counties of the Commonwealth.
The governor's office says the major disaster declaration through the Federal Emergency Management Agency would provide federal funding and services to eligible individuals and households through the Individual Assistance program and federal funding to local, county and state governments, as well as certain eligible non-profits in those counties, through the Public Assistance program. Businesses affected by the storm would be eligible for assistance through the Small Business Administration, the governor's office said.
The collective damage estimate to public infrastructure to date is currently estimated at $117 million, which far exceeds the commonwealth’s threshold of $19.7 million.
“I am requesting a federal disaster declaration because Pennsylvanians and our communities need and deserve critical support as they recover from significant damages to their homes and public infrastructure,” Gov. Wolf said. “This storm brought historic rainfall and flooding, as well as rare tornadoes, devastating many communities. We believe we meet the federal government’s thresholds based on the damage assessments conducted so far, so this request is another necessary step in the process to recover from the impacts of this terrible storm.”
Wolf and Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency Director Randy Padfield visited Bridgeport, Montgomery County Wednesday.
The borough, which sits along the Schuylkill River, experienced significant flooding from the remnants of Ida. They spoke with community leaders, residents and business owners and toured the community, which is still cleaning up nearly a week after Ida brought historic severe weather to Pennsylvania.