LOWER BUCKS >> Governor Tom Wolf on Friday visited Bristol and Bensalemn townships in Bucks County to tour communities affected by severe weather and flash flooding. The governor was joined by local officials and legislators to visit damaged homes and speak to residents.
“I’m here today in Bucks County to see first-hand the damage caused by the flash flooding this area experienced Monday night (July 12), and to hear from the residents affected by it,” said Gov. Wolf. “PEMA and local emergency officials have done a tremendous job of helping residents and now the clean up is underway, but people are still hurting.”
On July 12, heavy rains caused localized flash flooding throughout the southern end of Bucks County and parts of Northeast Philadelphia, impacting Bristol Borough, Bristol Township and Bensalem Township.
In Bristol Township, Gov. Wolf visited a flood-damaged home and spoke with the homeowner. In the Andalusia section of Bensalem Township, he toured the Lafayette Gardens condominium, which experienced heavy flood damage. Many homeowners were forced to relocate with the help of the Red Cross.
PEMA and county emergency management officials are still on the ground assessing damage in southeastern Pennsylvania. In order to receive a federal disaster declaration for Individual Assistance, which provides money directly to homeowners and renters, the commonwealth would need to reach certain thresholds for the number of homes that fit into the classification of “major damage” or “destroyed” along with other considerations which are specified on the FEMA website.
In order to receive a federal disaster declaration for Public Assistance, which provides funding to governments and certain eligible non-profits to repair or replace damaged infrastructure, counties must meet individual thresholds that are based on population, and the commonwealth overall must meet a threshold of $19.6 million in damages. It can be difficult to reach federal thresholds, an issue Gov. Wolf intends to raise with FEMA officials.
“Thank you to the first responders, emergency management personnel and local officials who reacted so quickly to keep people safe and begin cleanup efforts,” Gov. Wolf said. “And thank you to the residents of these communities and Northeast Philadelphia, who have pulled together in the face of this crisis to take care of one another.”