Crawford County’s request for a federal disaster declaration for those severely impacted by storms and flooding from June 26 to July 11 was approved by President Barack Obama, the Crawford County Board of Commissioners said on Thursday.
Crawford County had more than $460,0000 worth of damages or costs responding to the floods of June and July.
Damages were reported by East Mead, Summerhill, Conneaut, Beaver, East Fairfield, Bloomfield and Vernon townships; the City of Meadville; the borough of Conneautville and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
“We are grateful that the municipalities and public safety agencies in Crawford County will be receiving the assistance they so badly need,” said Allen Clark, director of the Crawford County Emergency Management Agency.
The biggest Crawford County losses were in Meadville, with $140,250 in damage to roads and bridges, and Vernon Township, with $150,000 in damage to roads and bridges.
“In some municipalities, the damage was very severe — bridges, culvert pipes were washed out,” Allen said. “The federal funds will pay up to 75 percent of the cost that were incurred.”
Other types of damage were drainage ditches damaged or gravel washed out from roads.
Federal funds will come through Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The federal funding is available to the state and eligible local governments, as well as certain nonprofit organizations, on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and repair or replacement of facilities damaged in Crawford County and the other counties affected, including Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Fayette, Huntingdon, Jefferson, Lawrence, Venango, and Wayne counties. The federal government has committed more than $18 million dollars to Pennsylvania, Clark said.
The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) has previously paid 25 percent, though, “We do not know if the state will pay any additional costs as they have in the past,” Clark said.
Federal funding is also available for hazard mitigation measures for all counties in the state. These funds can assist in the elevation of homes or purchase of destroyed homes subject to repeated flooding.
Crawford County Office of Emergency Services, PEMA and FEMA will meet with applicants to help facilitate the process.