HARRISBURG, September 13, 2011 – – State Sen. John P. Blake today encouraged all Luzerne County residents affected by last week’s flooding to act quickly and apply for federal assistance.

Earlier today, President Barack Obama made an emergency declaration for 19 Pennsylvania counties, including Luzerne County, which were devastated by flooding brought on by Tropical Storm Lee. This declaration allows federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts to flood victims.

“President Obama’s disaster declaration will certainly provide a greater deal of financial assistance for families affected by the flooding as their painful cleanup and recovery process continues,” Blake said. “Families around NEPA saw their homes ruined and their precious and personal valuables destroyed in the flood, it is now more important than ever to band together to help them get back on their feet.”

Lackawanna County was not included in President Obama’s emergency declaration. To substantiate inclusion in such disaster declarations counties must experience a very high threshold of dollar value damages as well as a very large number of homes affected. 

Blake said that this federal assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured or underinsured property losses and other programs to help individuals and businesses.

Residents and businesses in Luzerne County that sustained flood damage may be available for aid through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  To qualify for aid, victims must first register with FEMA either online at www.disasterassistance.gov or by phone at 1-800-621-3362.

A Disaster Recovery Center will be established at Luzerne County Community College, 1333 S. Prospect Street in Nanticoke beginning tomorrow at 10 a.m.

Blake said that constituents are welcome to contact his district offices with any questions about the declaration or flood assistance.  More information on flood assistance available through the state and federal government is available online at www.senatorblake.com.

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