Friday, August 17, 2018

Gov. Wolf Issues Disaster Proclamation Due To Recent Flooding, Will Seek Federal Aid

Gov. Tom Wolf Friday signed a proclamation of disaster emergency for the Commonwealth in response to a series of severe rain storms over the past week that caused flash flooding and ensuing damage to homes and businesses throughout much of north and central portions of the state.
The public inquiry hotline-- 272-200-3211-- is also open for flood victims to request help from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.  Click Here for more.
Gov. Wolf has personally toured communities hit hard by the storms in Schuylkill, Bradford and Delaware counties.
“Pennsylvanians in portions of the state hardest hit by heavy rains and subsequent flooding need to know that the state is doing all that it can to help and for that reason I am signing this disaster declaration,” Gov. Wolf said. “This allows the state to seek federal funding for damages and frees up the red tape that can be associated with procuring necessary supplies and services during emergency clean-up.
“Touring these flooded areas and speaking with those affected only confirmed my decision that we need this declaration to enlist all possible help.”
The proclamation is a necessary step in order to ask for a federal disaster declaration through the Federal Emergency Management Agency if damages meet the federal threshold criteria.
“Over the past few days, Gov. Wolf and I have heard firsthand the stories of these survivors and I am amazed by their resilience,” said PEMA Director Rick Flinn. “At the same time, I know that some people have been hit with flooding more than once this summer, and we’re committed to doing everything we can to help them.”
It is important to note that the proclamation does not restrict vehicular travel on commonwealth roads, but motorists in areas impacted by flooding are encouraged to allow extra time for travel if roads have not yet been opened.
The proclamation authorizes state agencies to use all available resources and personnel, as necessary, to cope with the magnitude and severity of this emergency situation. The time-consuming bidding and contract procedures, as well as other formalities normally prescribed by law, are waived for the duration of the proclamation.
In addition, the proclamation authorizes the Department of Transportation to waive regulations related to drivers of commercial vehicles in order to ensure the timely movement of commodities, particularly food.
It also provides consumer protections against price gouging by prohibiting companies from charging a price for consumer goods or services that exceeds 20 percent of the average price that the consumer goods or services were sold for in the seven days preceding the effective date of the governor’s proclamation.  
“As the clean-up continues, Pennsylvanians need to know that my Administration is doing everything it can to help those suffering from this devastating weather emergency,” Gov. Wolf said.
Click Here for a copy of the disaster declaration.
Help Hotline
Anyone who would like to request help should call 272-200-3211 for assistance. The hotline will be staffed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., including weekends through August 31. Volunteers will provide physical labor, such as mucking out basements, removing damaged flooring and drywall, and removing debris.  Click Here for more.
(Photo: New Albany, Bradford County.)
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