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Help sought for Alle-Kiski Valley flood recovery

About Mary Ann Thomas
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Flood damage assistance

Report flood damage: Armstrong County's Department of Public Safety is urging residents and businesses to report their flood damage by calling 800-405-6252 or 724-548-3408.

The county is seeking help for residents and emergency designations for communities to receive grant money.

In Apollo: The borough is asking residents to report flood-related damages to its public works department at 724-478-4201, ext. 3. That information will be relayed to the county.

A trash container will be set up for Apollo residents to dispose of flood-damaged property; other trash and debris will not be allowed.

Red Cross help

The Red Cross has provided nearly 500 cleanup kits to township and borough buildings in Westmoreland and Armstrong counties. In addition, the organization has provided immediate-disaster caused needs, including food, clothing and shelter, for seven adults.

Residents can pick up free cleanup kits from:

Westmoreland County:

• Avonmore Borough Building, 619 Allegheny Ave.

• Derry Township Building, 5321 Route 982

• Latrobe Municipal Building, 901 Jefferson St.

• Allegheny Township Building, 136 Community Building Road

• Unity Township Building, 154 Beatty County Road

• Loyalhanna Township Building, 820 Second St.

Armstrong County:

• Ford City Township Building, 1000 Fourth Ave. at 10th Street

• Cadogan Township Building, 333 First Ave.

• Kiski Township Building, 1222A Old State Road

For more information or for help, residents should call the Red Cross local chapter at 724-834-6510.

Flood recovery tips

• Return home only when officials have declared the area safe.

• If power lines are down outside your home, don't step in puddles or standing water.

• Before entering your home, look outside for loose power lines, damaged gas lines, foundation cracks or other damage.

• Parts of your home may be collapsed or damaged. Approach entrances carefully. See if porch roofs and overhangs have all their supports.

• If you smell natural or propane gas or hear a hissing noise, leave immediately and call the fire department.

• Watch out for wild animals, especially poisonous snakes that may have come into your home with the floodwater.

• Keep children and pets away from hazardous sites and floodwater.

• Materials such as cleaning products, paint, batteries, contaminated fuel and damaged fuel containers are hazardous. Check with local authorities for assistance with disposal to avoid risk.

• During cleanup, wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and rubber boots.

• Make sure your food and water are safe. Discard items that have come in contact with floodwater, including canned goods, water bottles, plastic utensils and baby bottle nipples. When in doubt, throw it out!

• Contact your local or state public health department to see if your water supply might be contaminated. You may need to boil or treat it before use. Don't use water that could be contaminated to wash dishes, brush teeth, prepare food, wash hands, make ice or make baby formula.

Source: Red Cross

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By Mary Ann Thomas

Published: Friday, Aug. 30, 2013, 1:06 a.m.

Four Armstrong County communities — Apollo and Kiski, Manor and Sugarcreek townships — have applied for an emergency declaration after floodwaters Wednesday ravaged streets and buildings that local governments and residents were still digging out on Thursday.

Parks Township and other towns are in the process of applying for state aid.

“We actually have houses off of foundations on the Dime Road flats,” said Bud Shannon, chairman of the township's supervisors.

“A lot of people are crying for help,” he said. “We're going to do what we can. It's bad.”

Armstrong County has been working with the hardest hit communities to get them qualified for aid with emergency designation, according to Randy Brozenick, Armstrong County director of Public Safety.

The county is waiting on a list of damaged roads and buildings, which local communities are still compiling.

Apollo Council on Thursday night approved a disaster declaration that will be sent to the county on Friday.

“I think the damage has been severe in some places — public areas, homes, roads and sewage systems,” said state Rep. Joe Petrarca, D-Washington Township. “We have cash-strapped communities that need some assistance. And I expect the state to step up and offer assistance.”

Petrarca said he should have more answers on Friday and the days to come as communities complete their damage assessments.

“It's looking to PEMA that it doesn't look like the communities will meet the threshold to trigger federal disaster dollars,” said Petrarca, who spoke to Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency officials on Thursday.

Petrarca said, “we're still looking for any assistance that we can find.”

Towns looking for a disaster declaration from PEMA will have to wait for federal approval, according to Brozenick.

The county will work through the emergency declaration process and hopes to know more by the end of next week, he said.

PennDOT had bridge inspection teams out Thursday as they viewed the flood damage that impacted numerous roads and bridges, according to Deborah Casadei, PennDOT spokeswoman.

It's too early to calculate total damage, she said.

But as of Thursday, several roads were still closed in Armstrong County:

• Glade Run Road, between Route 128 in Cadogan Township and Pony Farm Road in North Buffalo Township.

• Stitts Run Road, Parks Township, between Dime Road and Garvers Ferry Road.

• Nicola Road in West Franklin, between Fenelton Road and Route 422.

• Edmon Road/Old State Road, Kiski Township, between School Road and Ross Road.

Mary Ann Thomas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4691 or mthomas@tribweb.com.

 

 
 


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