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Leaders Highlight Restore Pennsylvania for Chronically Flooded Areasz
Pennsylvania Ag Connection - 06/26/2019

Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency Acting Director Randy Padfield was joined by officials from Dauphin County and Lykens Borough to discuss how Governor Tom Wolf's Restore Pennsylvania plan provides direct benefits for municipalities to make infrastructure upgrades to prevent storm damage before it occurs, and aid disaster survivors when the impacts do not reach federally established thresholds for federal aid.

"Chronically flooded areas have become an albatross for rural communities like Lykens, requiring expensive remediation and recovery projects to be undertaken by municipalities that can seldom afford the cost," said Padfield. "Restore Pennsylvania would fund commonsense investments to prevent or lessen damage, and help communities recover faster and stronger, all while lessening taxpayers' local burdens."

Restore Pennsylvania would provide $4.5 billion over the next four years in significant, high-impact investments to rebuild Pennsylvania's infrastructure. The program would also establish a disaster relief trust fund to assist individuals who suffer losses but are not eligible for grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, or other existing programs.

"Severe weather and record-breaking rainfall are becoming all too common in Dauphin County and across the state," said Dauphin County Commissioner Mike Pries. "We've seen first-hand how flood mitigation makes a difference and have invested millions of federal grant funding in various projects across the county, including in Lykens Borough, to prevent property damage."

Dauphin County Commissioner George P. Hartwick, III, who also joined Padfield and Lykens officials, agreed.

"I applaud Gov. Wolf for making flood prevention and disaster relief funding a priority," Hartwick said. "The cost of doing nothing is far more expensive -- in property damage and lives lost."

Gov. Wolf's proposal would also provide funding for municipalities to take steps to prevent flooding via streambank restoration, levees or floodwalls, and stream restoration and maintenance. Estimates show that every dollar spent on hazard mitigation efforts saves tax payers seven dollars in response and recovery operation costs.

Restore Pennsylvania is a statewide plan to aggressively address the commonwealth's vital infrastructure needs. Funded through a commonsense severance tax, Restore Pennsylvania is a bipartisan plan that will help make Pennsylvania a leader in the 21st century. A detailed overview of the plan is available online.

More information about how to prepare for an emergency, including specific information for people with specialized needs such as pets or access and functional needs, is available on the ReadyPA website.

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