President Biden approves Gov. Wolf's major disaster declaration for Ida

The approval will provide funding and services through the Individual Assistance Program and Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.
HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Governor Tom Wolf announced Friday that President Joe Biden has approved his declaration of a major disaster in Pennsylvania following last week's severe storms.

"Pennsylvanians continue to recover from this deadly storm, which is why my administration made it a top priority to quickly seek federal assistance," Wolf said in a recent statement. "I'm grateful our president has responded swiftly, and the federal government worked with state and local officials to conduct damage assessments and determined that Pennsylvanians are deserving of this critical federal aid. Pennsylvanians will now have opportunities to receive financial assistance, which will go a long way toward replacing and restoring their property."

The approval will provide funding and services to eligible individuals through the Individual Assistance Program and impacted communities through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

The governor's request includes a major disaster declaration for Individual Assistance for Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia, and York counties; Public Assistance for Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Fulton, Montgomery, Philadelphia, and York counties; and for the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program to be made available to all 67 counties of the Commonwealth.

The collective damage estimate to public infrastructure to date is currently estimated at $117 million.

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"We've got to prepare for it now, can't afford another one," said Jose Roman who works at Mike's Pizza.

On Wednesday, Wolf toured Bridgeport, Montgomery County, one of the many areas ravaged by the storm. One resident died in his basement after it was filled with water from the Schuylkill River.

The damage to homes and businesses is extensive. Many are without flood insurance.

Laura Houck, a Bridgeport business owner and resident, told the governor she lost everything.

"Please help us, thank you for coming out," said Houck.

In Norristown, a line of mostly frustrated residents stood outside the multi-agency resource center, which opened Wednesday at 2 W. Lafayette Street.

Residents can meet with representatives from disaster relief groups, as well as municipal, county, and state emergency management officials, and human services agencies.

"I lost my car, I lost my house, I lost everything and it was just like that. Now, it is like how am I going to get to work? The bills are going to keep coming in," said Bridgeport resident David Pitts.

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