Corbett requests federal aid for WashCo summer storms

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Gov. Tom Corbett Friday again requested federal funding that would provide reimbursement to local, county and state agencies for costs associated with the response to and recovery from severe storms from late June through July.


In the letter to President Obama, the governor reiterated that the National Weather Service, a federal agency, agreed that the repeated storms were part of the same “weather regime” lasting from June 22 through July 25.


Last month, the Federal Emergency Management Agency denied the governor’s request for a federal disaster declaration, saying the storms were a result of two distinct and separate storms.


Corbett also noted that the U.S. Small Business Administration awarded disaster declarations in multiple counties to provide low-interest loans to citizens affected by the storms.


The governor’s initial request asked for public assistance for state government, local governments and certain nonprofit organizations in Washington, Allegheny and Fayette counties. This assistance could pay 75 percent of the approved cost of debris removal, emergency services related to the disaster and repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, buildings and utilities.


“Some communities in Pennsylvania were battered repeatedly with storms that left behind significant damage to local infrastructure,” Corbett wrote. “Federal disaster aid is appropriate in this case, since we exceeded the commonwealth threshold of $17.4 million in costs and damages.”


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