Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Rendell Requests Federal Reassessment of Storm Damage

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials will return to western Pennsylvania Thursday and Friday to reconsider the state’s plea for national assistance after two series of bad storms last month. Damage in Allegheny and Westmoreland Counties will be reassessed, and the Governor also asked FEMA representatives to survey damage in Erie County a first time, after a record rainfall there.

Spokesman Maria Finn of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency says her department only gets assistance through the federal government, making a FEMA disaster declaration a necessity to help beleaguered homeowners. Finn says since the first assessment, many more citizens have stepped forth with damage reports. She says infrastructure probably wasn’t damaged enough to warrant a public grant, but property damage claims could be handled individually if FEMA reverses its denial of a major disaster declaration.

Finn says all damage reports help add to the state’s case, no matter how small. She says anyone with damage should immediately report it to their local emergency management agency, which they can find in the phone book.

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