Damage Tallied From Ivan’s Flooding in PA; Reaches $264M

Wed November 03, 2004 - Northeast Edition
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HARRISBURG (AP) The rain-driven floodwaters from what had been Hurricane Ivan caused more than $264 million in damage in September to Pennsylvania residents, businesses and public property, Gov. Ed Rendell said Wednesday, Oct. 20.

Rendell announced measures to address Ivan’s aftereffects, including the state government’s commitment to pay the entire 25 percent in matching funds needed under federal disaster aid rules. That represents a departure from the policy during widespread winter flooding in 1996, when local municipalities had to fund 3 percentage points of the match.

“This is a very comprehensive package and it has a significant cost factor,” Rendell said.

The federal government will pay approximately $226 million and the state $38 million for damage the governor said affected more than 20,000 people and more than 2,000 businesses in approximately 2,000 communities. The state’s share is less than a quarter of the total damage because the federal government reimburses individuals at a higher rate than it does businesses and municipalities.

At least 12 deaths in the state were attributed to Ivan’s flooding, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency said. Fifty-four of the state’s 67 counties were declared federal disaster areas.

Rendell said a task force will help determine where $24 million in hazard mitigation will be spent to limit damage from future flooding. Projects may include construction of levees, improvements to streambeds and the purchase of homes in flood-prone areas.

Also, the state is waiving fees for flood-damaged municipalities that acquire supplies from state government surplus, and workers left jobless by the flooding are eligible to be hired for up to six months on reclamation projects.

The damage figures are estimates that will be adjusted as reports continue to trickle in. The deadline for individuals to apply for disaster assistance is Nov. 18.