Two Pennsylvania congressmen have written a letter to President Obama supporting Gov. Tom Corbett's request for federal disaster assistance for five counties. U.S. Reps. Tom Marino, PA-10, and Glenn Thompson, PA-5, sent a joint letter of support to President Obama regarding the governor's request for help in Bradford, Lycoming, Sullivan, Tioga and Wyoming counties. Those areas experienced severe flooding and sustained extensive damage as a result of thunderstorms and heavy rains in April. The congressmen echoed Gov. Corbett's statement that local communities have "depleted resources and exhausted budgets" as a result of the emergency response to the storms. A May 20 assessment showed that the five counties sustained nearly $20 million in damages and the five counties exceeded their county and state per capita public assistance thresholds. If approved, state and local governments, as well as certain non-profit agencies, would have federal resources available to assist in debris removal, emergency services and repairing or replacing damaged public facilities such as roads, buildings and utilities.
June 24, 2011
The Honorable Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President,
We write to you today to express our support for the major disaster declaration request made by Governor Tom Corbett on June 22, 2011 for the counties of Bradford, Lycoming, Sullivan, Tioga, and Wyoming in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. As a result of severe thunderstorms and heavy rains throughout the month of April, these counties located in our districts have suffered severe flooding and widespread damage.
The Governor rightly stated in his letters that the high costs associated with the emergency response by the Commonwealth and local communities has "depleted resources and exhausted budgets." A May 20, 2011 assessment of the budget impact showed that the five counties sustained nearly $20 million in damages, and the five counties exceeded their county and state per capita public assistance thresholds.
We have seen firsthand the effect these storms have had on the communities in the five counties. Roads and bridges remain closed or heavily damaged, jeopardizing the response and access of emergency services. Local budgets are strained even as the costs continue to increase; rural farms have suffered heavy damage and significant crop losses; and a number of buildings have been destroyed or condemned. As the damaging effects of the heavy storms and flooding continue to mount, it is clear that federal assistance is critical to public health and safety and to ensure that the region is adequately prepared for any future disasters.
The request by Governor Corbett is an important step in what will be a long recovery for our local communities. We urge you to accept the request made by the Government and make the major disaster declaration for Bradford, Lycoming, Sullivan, Tioga, and Wyoming counties so that they may have federal resources available to them during the recovery period. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. Thank you for your attention to this important matter.
Member of Congress
Glenn "GT" Thompson
Member of Congress