Torrential rainfall from Tropical Storm Lee caused the Susquehanna River to overrun its banks resulting in substantial flooding in the Borough. The flood water deposited vegetative and construction/demolition debris, along with mud and silt on public property and highway rights-of-way. As these materials posed an immediate threat to lives, public health, safety and improved property, the borough utilized emergency contracting procedures to obtain the services of debris removal contractors. More than 6,400 tons of debris were removed and hauled to a licensed landfill in the county.
Under FEMA's Public Assistance (PA) Program, funding is provided to the Commonwealth, eligible local governments, and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis. The grant represents a 75 percent federal share and a 25 percent Commonwealth share of the project costs.
FEMA is responsible for managing the program, approving grants, and providing technical assistance to the Commonwealth and applicants. The Commonwealth educates potential applicants, works with FEMA to manage the program, and PEMA is responsible for implementing and monitoring the grants awarded under the program. Local officials are responsible for identifying damage, providing information necessary for FEMA to approve grants, and managing each project funded under the program.
Total federal grants for public assistance projects are expected to top $175 million. Combined federal and state assistance for the two disasters, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, is expected to top $233million.
Information on FEMA's PA program is available at http://www.fema.gov