State seeks federal aid for Irene damage

Chester County was one of the areas that pushed the state damages from Hurricane Irene to more than $32 million, exceeding the qualifications for seeking federal aid.

In a letter to the White House today, Governor Corbett asserted that the magnitude of the damage is beyond the response capabilities of the state and affected local governments and requires supplementary federal assistance, said a news release from Corbett's office.

“I traveled with the Pennsylvania National Guard and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency Director Glenn Cannon to many of the affected areas, and it was evident early on that the severe damage from Irene affected many of our roads and infrastructure,” said Corbett in the release.

 If approved, state government and local governments and certain non-profit organizations would be eligible to apply for federal assistance to 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.

Other counties – including Bucks, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia, – continue to be assessed and can later be added to the governor’s initial request. The letter stressed that the storm’s estimated costs are expected to grow as assessments continue and repairs and restorations begin, the release said.