Money Available for Ida's Victims

Gregory Vellner

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Tornadoes like this one ravaged Bucks County, PA.NOAA

Hundreds of Bucks County, PA property owners victimized by the powerful remnants of Hurricane Ida now can turn to Uncle Sam for financial assistance to recover from the storm that “left a trail of heartbreak and devastation.”

Eligible residents can apply for federal Individual Assistance grants through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The program, which often distributes money “within a few days,” became effective following a Major Disaster Declaration by President Biden. Inspectors from FEMA then assessed damages in the county.

Three tornadoes and heavy rains measuring more than 10 inches of accumulation in some locations caused severe damage to homes and businesses throughout the county at the start of the month. The storm caused some $9.4 million in damages to infrastructure, county officials have estimated.

“When Ida tore through our region, it left a trail of heartbreak and devastation,” said county Commissioner Bob Harvie. “Thanks to this aid from FEMA, Bucks County residents will be able to build back from the destruction toward a much-needed sense of safety and security. We are grateful to all of our local, state and federal partners whose hard work during some dark days was critical in unlocking this assistance.”

The county so far has received hundreds of damage reports from residents, according to James T. O’Malley, deputy director, county Public Information office. FEMA provides Individual Assistance funds within a few days to eligible homeowners and renters whose homes, vehicles or personal property sustained damage during disasters specified in a presidential declaration.

Registration for Individual Assistance remains open for 60 days, said O’Malley. To apply for aid, calls should be made to 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or visit DisasterAssistance.gov.

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As a professional journalist for several years -- reporter, editor, feature writer, columnist -- I handled a range of subjects. Breaking news, investigative series, government action, feature events, and staff feature writer with national entertainment magazine interviewing stars including Tom Selleck, Mel Brooks and Danny DeVito. No matter the topic, certain ingredients are key: truth, facts, objectivity, balance.

Bucks County, PA
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