Counties seeking nearly $600M in disaster relief funding
Tioga and Bradford County’s Federal Emergency Management Agency applications estimates a total nearly $600 million in damages that were caused by the September flooding, according to local emergency management officials.
Tioga County Emergency Management Officer Dick LeCount said the county faced a roughly $300 million in damages for the individual, county, and municipalities. He said the damages totaled roughly $550 million including businesses and $10 million for county infrastructure alone.
Bradford County faced over $14 million in all communities identified, not including state roads, bridges, and farmer crops, according to Bradford County Public Safety Director Robert Barnes. He gave the conservative estimate of roughly $3 million just for countyowned property damage such as bridges and buildings.
Tioga County faced several damages to structures such as the courthouse, the clerk’s office, the county office building and the court annex, according to LeCount. He said luckily, many of the buildings had flood insurance coverage.
LeCoult said FEMA has helped several people within the area, and roughly $22 million has been paid back to individuals within Tioga County so far. He said many have received the maximum reimbursement of $32,000 and FEMA trailers are being brought to the county to house flood displaced families.
Barnes said Bradford County has already submitted the forms to FEMA and are now waiting to hear back. He believes the impacted communities should be reimbursed by this spring, however the county is still working on being reimbursed for some of the damages from the storms in April.
Barnes said the county faced damages to the courthouse annex, parks, county roads, equipment, and had a large amount of debris removal.
He said every municipality has their own damage assessment process and their own kickoff meeting. Damages are submitted to FEMA and Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, the damage claim is then assessed before reimbursements are distributed.
“We are slowly getting back to normal,” said LeCount.