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Allegheny County qualifies for federal flood relief

| Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013, 4:41 a.m.

Allegheny County was added on Monday to a list of 10 counties covered by a presidential disaster declaration because of June and July storms.

County Chief of Emergency Services Alvin Henderson said in a statement that the county met the minimum threshold of $4.2 million in costs for storms and flooding from June 26 through July 11.

The president's initial disaster declaration covered Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Crawford, Fayette, Huntington, Jefferson, Lawrence, Venango and Wayne counties. Much of that area was affected by storms in late June.

Gov. Tom Corbett has sought relief from storms that continued through late July. His request on July 26 included Washington County.

Storms on July 10 prompted local emergency declarations in 12 Allegheny County municipalities, including Elizabeth, Jefferson Hills, Lincoln and West Elizabeth.

On July 10 in Elizabeth, Fallen Timber Run and a feeder stream overflowed, damaging a section of Irwin Street and several homes.

Council president Monica Glowinski said the borough is looking at $30,000 in costs for flood recovery, not including labor.

In Jefferson Hills, borough officials estimated damage just to municipal properties at more than $200,000.

President Obama's declaration covers all local governments, police, fire and public works departments, emergency medical services, water and sewer authorities, school districts, hospitals, and certain private nonprofits.

Henderson said the president's action makes federal funding available to eligible local governments and private nonprofits on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and repair or replacement of facilities.

Henderson said reimbursable costs could cover damage to roads, bridges and public buildings as well as debris removal, personnel costs, vehicle and equipment use.

Emergency protective measures taken to protect life and property before, during and after the storms could be reimbursable.

Henderson said federal and state funding is available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures.

He said any organization that believes it is eligible for funding should call 412-473-2550.

Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161 ext. 1967, or pcloonan@tribweb.com.

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