Armstrong flood victims could get federal aid
Federal assistance could be on the way for victims of the Aug. 28 floods in Armstrong County.
County officials hope to obtain a Small Business Administration Disaster Declaration, which would allow flood victims to apply for low-interest loans to help cover flood damages, according to Randy Brozenick, director of public safety.
“We had over 200 homes affected by the flood, but with the amount of damage in Armstrong County, we do not qualify for a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster declaration and assistance,” Brozenick said.
“It's the only assistance out there available for us.”
Brozenick said county officials must identify at least 25 homes or businesses with at least 40 percent of their flood damages not covered by insurance. If officials can identify these homes, Brozenick said, the county must send a report to Gov. Tom Corbett's office for approval, then on to President Obama's office for final approval.
If approved, affected residents would be able to apply for low-interest loans through the federal Small Business Administration.
Brozenick said he hopes county officials will be able to file a report with Corbett's office before the end of the week.
“I don't know how long the process will take, but we're pushing as hard as we can to get our report out there,” Brozenick said. “There are a lot of people out there who need help, but right now, we're at the mercy of the government.”
During the flooding, the county worked with the American Red Cross, Armstrong County Community Action Agency and the Salvation Army to address immediate needs, such as food, shelter and other amenities, Brozenick said.
The Red Cross provided a total of 820 cleanup kits at the Ford City borough building, the Cadogan and Kiski township buildings, and their local office in Kittanning, along with another half-dozen locations in Westmoreland County, according to Lauren Ashley, regional communications officer for the Red Cross.
“We certainly saw some homes with damages, but most of it was to basements, so we were able to sit down and make sure their needs were met,” Ashley said. “All of the kits were gone, so we were glad we were able to provide something to help with local cleanup efforts.”
The American Red Cross' Southwestern Pennsylvania division received flood reports from across the region, Ashley said.
In Armstrong County, the Red Cross assisted 10 families, comprised of 21 people, with shelter, and 12 families, comprised of 39 people, with food. The organization provided clothing to 32 people after the storm.
“It's been a wet summer, so when the rains are heavy, flooding happens quickly,” Ashley said. “The floods came a lot faster than a lot of families expected, and not everyone was able to prepare for the after effects.”
Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303, ext. 1337.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Open locks have Armstrong river businesses banking on better weather
- Apollo Independence Day celebration salutes those who sacrificed
- New Armstrong Junior-Senior High facility to be shown off in August
- Sheriff starts fundraising to buy drug-sniffing K-9 officer for Armstrong
- Class of ‘74 returning for last dance at Kittanning High School
- SummerFest kicks off in Ford City
- Trailer fire puts Rayburn family out of home
- Concert aims to heal wounds of Armstrong veterans
- Grant helps Armstrong agency provide cribs to needy families
- Ford City targeting development of former industrial land
- Roof over Cowansville veterans center a ‘godsend’