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Monday 27 July, 2009

General

Governor Rendell Requests Second FEMA Damage As...

Governor Rendell Requests Second FEMA Damage Assessment for Western PA Counties

PR Newswire




Erie County Added to Damage Assessment


HARRISBURG, Pa., July 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Edward G. Rendell today requested that officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Small Business Administration reassess storm damage in Allegheny and Westmoreland counties as the state gathers information to appeal the recent denial of a major disaster declaration by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  


The Governor also requested a preliminary damage assessment for Erie County to review damages sustained by residents as a result of the same severe storm system that inundated the county with nearly six inches of rain on June 29-30, 2009.


"The counties have informed PEMA that they've received additional damage reports involving homes and communities that were not surveyed during the initial damage assessment," said Governor Rendell. "We are asking FEMA for a fair second chance that takes into account this previously unreported damage, which we believe will lead to an approved federal declaration that will help speed recovery from these devastating storms."


According to Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency Director Robert P. French, federal assistance is necessary to address the unmet needs of affected citizens and communities. The damage assessment teams are scheduled to be in Erie County on Thursday and in Allegheny and Westmorland counties on Friday.


During that time county officials will show the joint FEMA and state assessment teams homes and communities damaged by the flooding. The additional numbers will be used to appeal the FEMA declaration denial issued on July 17.


"Our goal is to get the declaration denial for Allegheny and Westmorland counties overturned," said Director French. "We appreciate FEMA agreeing to re-deploy teams to work in partnership with our staff and county emergency managers to ensure all damages are being assessed."


PEMA reminds victims to report any damage caused by this storm to their local emergency management agencies. Contact information may be found in your local telephone directory.


Local emergency managers will collect the damage data reported to them and submit it to the counties. The county will then submit the information to the state, which will forward it to the federal government. FEMA will then collect and review the compiled data and those findings may result in the designation for federal disaster aid for individuals.


More information on disaster assistance in Pennsylvania is available at www.pema.state.pa.us; click on "Disaster Assistance" in the left-hand column.



The Rendell administration is committed to creating a first-rate public education system, protecting our most vulnerable citizens and continuing economic investment to support our communities and businesses.  To find out more about Governor Rendell's initiatives and to sign up for his newsletter, visit www.governor.state.pa.us.





SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor


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