SANATOGA PA – If and when the federal government approves financial assistance to states devastated last October (2012) by Hurricane Sandy, Lower Pottsgrove officials believe they have everything in place to ensure the township can claim reimbursement for some expenses it incurred as a result of the storm.
Governors in several Northeastern states hardest hit by Sandy’s fury expressed outrage and anger Wednesday (Jan. 2, 2013) when it appeared Congress had delayed its promised vote on an aid package, The New York Times reported. House Speaker John Boehner, the Republican who a day earlier pushed through fiscal cliff legislation opposed by many in his own party, had quietly deferred any move to bring the $60 billion hurricane help bill to a vote.
With furor growing increasingly bitter over failure to move the package ahead, Boehner later Wednesday recanted and said the aid would be divided into two parts but receive prompt attention. Nine billion dollars in flood insurance claim money will be the subject of a House vote Friday (Jan. 4); the remaining $51 billion will be voted on Jan. 15.
The latter includes $5.4 billion in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster relief, according to the Associated Press, and that’s the money Lower Pottsgrove has its eye on.
“Appropriate documentation and forms have been completed and submitted to Montgomery County for potential reimbursement” if the county qualifies for FEMA funding under a federal disaster declaration, township Emergency Management Coordinator Chris Wilcox reported to the Board of Commissioners.
Wilcox and police Chief Michael Foltz spent several hours the day after the storm to conduct what Wilcox called a “windshield assessment” of the damage, surveying whole areas from the comfort of a vehicle. They spent several more hours the following day, getting out to inspect and photograph specific incidents in depth. Their reports and pictures were filed shortly thereafter.
If reimbursement is granted, Lower Pottsgrove’s claims will represent only a microscopic portion of the $60 billion total.