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Federal Disaster Funding Approved for October Flooding

by on December 05, 2016 11:15 AM

Gov. Tom Wolf announced on Friday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved his request for disaster assistance funding for Centre County and three other counties after significant flooding in October.

In Centre County, the Bald Eagle Valley, including Milesburg and Howard, was most significantly affected by the Oct 21-22 flooding after receiving up to 10 inches of rain in a two-hour period, causing Spring Creek to overflow its banks.

Lycoming, Bradford and Sullivan counties join Centre County for the funding. The assistance will provide reimbursement to state agencies, county and municipal governments and eligible private non-profits for costs associated with the flooding.

“This flooding caused considerable damage to state and local infrastructure, and the financial impact would have caused significant strain on the communities and their economies,” Wolf said in a statement. “This assistance will make a big difference in these communities that simply cannot absorb the cost of repairs.”

The federal funds will reimburse costs of response and recovery, such as personnel overtime, damaged infrastructure, search and rescue operations and operating shelters. Federal reimbursement will cover up to 75 percent of costs on eligible expenses.

The overall estimated combined damages in the counties is $33.2 million, exceeding the state's federally-established threshold of $18.1 million, according to a release from Wolf's office.

Last month, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced it had declared declared Centre and Lycoming counties a disaster area, allowing affected residents and businesses to apply for low-interest disaster recovery loans.  More than 400 homes and businesses in Centre County suffered damage from the floods.

Wolf applied for disaster assistance funding from the SBA and FEMA earlier in November. FEMA funding required approval from the President.

The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency will meet with applicants over the coming weeks to review documentation before forwarding it to the FEMA. The process is expected to take several weeks, according to Wolf's office, and all applications will be submitted electronically.



Geoff Rushton is managing editor for Contact him at or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.
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