Disaster declared, but not for all

From staff reports

The federal government declared local areas impacted by severe summer storms a disaster area, according to a statement issued by state Rep. Mike Hanna.

However, the support will only be for transportation and infrastructure needs and will not include residential damage.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confirmed the annoucnement and said that there would likely be minimal impact by the government shutdown at this point due to the month-long review process of application and subsequent timeline issuing funds to applicants.

Ten Pennsylvania counties are eligible for relief, including both Clinton and Centre counties, for the storms that occurred between June 26 and July 11.

Funding will be available to the state and eligible local governments and certain nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities affected by the storms.

“This important announcement will allow the state and local governments to receive much-needed federal assistance to rebuild our infrastructure and public facilities,” Hanna said. “Although direct grant assistance for individual homeowners has not been granted, this declaration is an important step forward to rebuilding our communities. Please know that I will continue to advocate for additional federal relief where grant money goes directly to individuals affected by these terrible storms.”

As an alternative, Hanna said homeowners, business owners and local officials are encouraged to continue to document and report storm damage. In Clinton County, residents and officials can call, 570-893-4090, ext. 3400. In Centre County, call 814-355-6745.

For the full story, check out today’s print edition of The Express