Washington DC- Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that the Obama Administration has agreed to reimburse Pennsylvania for money it spent preparing for Hurricane Sandy. Originally, the Administration had denied Pennsylvania’s request to be fully reimbursed. Senator Casey led the fight for the state-writing a letter to President Obama and convening a meeting between FEMA and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) to push for aid.
“I’m pleased the Administration has done the right thing and decided to reimburse Pennsylvania for the costs it incurred during preparations for Sandy,” Casey said. “The Commonwealth and local municipalities went to great efforts to minimize the amount of damage and it is welcome news that the Administration recognizes the extraordinary work our first responders did to prepare for the storm.”
When the storm hit, Senator Casey urged the Administration to issue a pre-landfall disaster declaration so the state would be reimbursed for preparation costs. This declaration was issued by the Administration but very limited in scope. In order to full cover emergency management services, debris removal and damage to publically owned property, Pennsylvania pursued a major disaster declaration for the Commonwealth. Senator Casey wrote a letter to President Obama urging him to reimburse the state. Additionally, Senator Casey personally convened a meeting in December between FEMA and PEMA officials and members of the Pennsylvania Congressional delegation to press the case for aid.
Hurricane Sandy left more than 1.25 million homes, businesses and healthcare facilities without power in Pennsylvania, some for up to two weeks. A number of counties experienced significant property damage due to flooding and high winds. At least twelve deaths in Pennsylvania have been confirmed as a result of Sandy.
The disaster declaration will cover debris removal and emergency protective measures as well as damage to roads, bridges and public buildings and facilities and will specifically be directed towards municipalities in Bedford, Bucks, Cameron, Dauphin, Forest, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Monroe, Northampton, Pike, Potter, Somerset, Sullivan and Wyoming Counties.