Casey calls on FEMA, PEMA to Quickly Approve Buyouts for Wyoming County

Buyouts Would Help Families Relocate and Minimize Future Damage

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today urged the Federal Emergency Management Agency / Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency Joint Field Office to quickly approve applications submitted by Wyoming County to acquire properties damaged or destroyed in the flooding from Irene and Lee.

Wyoming County has applied for the acquisitions of 92 homes that were damaged or destroyed by Irene and Lee or have been repeatedly damaged by flood events. Buyouts help homeowners relocate to safer areas and minimize the potential impact of future disasters on vulnerable areas.

“The buyouts will enable homeowners who have already suffered so greatly to relocate and live without worry of future disasters,” said Senator Casey. “Wyoming County is taking a significant step toward mitigating the effects of future disasters on local communities, and I urge the approval of these applications as quickly as possible.”   

Wyoming County was one of the hardest hit areas of Pennsylvania during last year’s flooding, with more than 3,200 homes and businesses damaged. 

Over the past six months, Senator Casey has traveled throughout areas affected by flooding to ensure that the government is doing everything possible to aid in the recovery.

Senator Casey has pushed for the quick release of FEMA assistance, introduced a bill to help businesses recover and rehire workers, and pressed for adequate funding for the Susquehanna River flood forecasting system to help communities prepare for and protect against the next disaster.

The full text of Senator Casey’s letter to FEMA / PEMA is below:

Mr. Thomas McCool

Federal Coordinating Officer

FEMA/PEMA Joint Field Office

2801 Valley Rd.

Harrisburg, PA 17110

Dear Mr. McCool:

Six months ago, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee caused massive flooding throughout central and eastern Pennsylvania.  Wyoming County was among the hardest hit, with more than 3,200 homes and businesses damaged.  I personally witnessed the devastation during visits to Wyoming County last September.  The residents of this area deserve our support as they work to rebuild their homes and livelihoods in the wake of the flooding.       

Communities across Wyoming County have worked tirelessly to recover from this devastation.  This week, the Wyoming County Emergency Management Agency submitted applications for property acquisitions to the FEMA/PEMA Joint Field Office in Harrisburg.  The first application package includes sixty homes, worth $5.8 million, that were destroyed or significantly damaged by the flooding.  A second application package, made up of 32 additional homes and valued at $3.9 million, includes properties that have been repeatedly damaged by flood events.

By initiating the property acquisition process, Wyoming County is taking a significant step toward mitigating the effects of future disasters on local communities.  Homeowners who participate in the program will have the opportunity to relocate to safer areas, reducing the danger to themselves and their property in the future.  We must support Wyoming County’s efforts to assist residents and minimize the potential impact of future disasters on vulnerable areas.        

I appreciate the assistance that representatives of FEMA and PEMA from the Joint Field Office have provided to Wyoming County during the application process.  I now urge the Joint Field Office to approve these applications as quickly as possible, so that Wyoming County can move forward with the acquisition process and the residents can rebuild their lives.  

Sincerely,

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

United States Senator

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