Witnesses at Tuesday's subcommittee field hearing related tales of the recent flooding that plagued Northeastern Pennsylvania and offered some insight as to how volunteers, property owners and officials on all levels can improve recovery efforts the next time disaster strikes.
The six offered testimony and fielded questions from two U.S. congressmen at a field hearing held by the U.S. House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communications. The session titled "Ensuring Effective Preparedness and Response: Lessons Learned from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee," was held at Keystone College.
Rep. Gus Bilirakis, FL-9, chairman of the subcommittee, presided over the hearing. Rep. Tom Marino, PA-10, is vice chairman of the subcommittee.
Marino thanked Bilirakis for "bringing Washington to the district."
In his opening statement, Marino talked about how 10 of the 14 counties in his congressional district were hit by flooding and storm damage caused by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.
"The storm knew no boundaries," Marino said. "It hit individuals and businesses, government offices and schools, farms, cemeteries and churches."
While touring the 10th District immediately after the flooding began, Marino said he would try to host a congressional hearing in Pennsylvania to review the disaster process, from the evacuation to the recovery phase.
Witnesses included MaryAnn Tierney, regional administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency; Col. David Anderson, district commander, Baltimore District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Glenn Cannon, director, Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency; Marita C. Wenner, volunteer chairwoman, Pennsylvania State Disaster Committee, American Red Cross; James J. Brozena, executive director, Luzerne County Flood Protection Authority; and James Good, owner, Arey Building Supply, Wysox.