Casey Calls on Administration to Grant Major Disaster Declaration for PA After Hurricane Sandy

Washington, DC – Today U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) called on the Administration to grant a major disaster declaration for Pennsylvania in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.  The storm left more than 1,250,000 homes, businesses and healthcare facilities without power, some for up to two weeks.  Many families and businesses experienced damaged or lost property due to the lack of power, flooding and high winds.

“With the holiday season upon us, it is critically important to provide relief for those communities that are still struggling in the wake of Hurricane Sandy,” said Senator Casey. “Recovering from Sandy will take time, but providing additional resources to the Commonwealth will help to accelerate recovery efforts.”

The disaster declaration could also make Pennsylvania communities eligible for reimbursement for expenses related to pre-storm preparedness measures.  Local governments and first responders took significant steps to prepare for the storm, including pre-staging supplies, equipment and response teams where it appeared they would be most needed.  These measures helped to mitigate the impact of Hurricane Sandy, but have not yet been approved to be reimbursed through FEMA. 

Senator Casey’s letter to the Administration supports Governor Tom Corbett’s (R-PA) request for a major disaster declaration for Pennsylvania. Public Assistance for Categories A and B was specifically requested for all counties in the Commonwealth, and Categories C through G for Bedford, Cameron, Dauphin, Fulton, Greene, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, Potter, Somerset, Sullivan, Wayne, and Wyoming counties.  Individual Assistance was requested for Berks, Franklin, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, and Philadelphia counties, which have suffered significant losses but are currently not eligible for the types of assistance available in neighboring counties in New Jersey. 

In October, Senator Casey urged the Administration to grant a pre-landfall emergency declaration for Pennsylvania during Hurricane Sandy, which was approved.  The text of that letter can be found here. While the emergency declaration provided some resources to the state, a disaster declaration could allow the state to receive additional resources and aid to move forward on the recovery effort.  

The text of the most recent letter to President Obama can be found below.

Dear Mr. President:

I write in support of Governor Corbett’s request for a major disaster declaration for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as a result of the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.  This storm was predicted to be the worst in the history of the Commonwealth, and state and local entities took measures to prepare for the impending emergency.  These measures helped to mitigate the impact of Hurricane Sandy, but many Pennsylvanians still experienced losses due to this historic storm.

More than 1,250,000 homes, businesses and healthcare facilities were without power, some for up to two weeks.  Many families experienced damaged or lost property due to the lack of power, combined with flooding and high winds that led to damage from debris in some areas.  Individuals whose places of employment were closed lost wages, and others were unable to work due to transportation closures.  Finally, at least twelve deaths in Pennsylvania have been confirmed in connection with the storm.   

Governor Corbett has specifically requested Public Assistance for Categories A and B for all counties in the Commonwealth, and Categories C through G for Bedford, Cameron, Dauphin, Fulton, Greene, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, Potter, Somerset, Sullivan, Wayne, and Wyoming counties.  He has also requested Individual Assistance for Berks, Franklin, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, and Philadelphia counties, which have suffered significant losses but are currently not eligible for the types of assistance available in neighboring counties in New Jersey. 

I strongly support these requests and urge you to give them careful consideration.  With the holiday season upon us, it is critically important to provide relief for those who are struggling in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.  If you have any questions or would like to discuss this matter further, please do not hesitate to contact me.  I look forward to continuing to work with you to help residents recover from this storm.

Sincerely,

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

United States Senator

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