7/9/23 Storm Updates and Information

MTWP Storm Updates

UPDATE 2/21/24

System Design Engineering, Inc. Flood Report PDF

UPDATE 10/17/23

FEMA 2023 Non-Disaster Mitigation Grants that the application period that opened this week.

The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency just received information yesterday regarding the FEMA 2023 Non-Disaster Mitigation Grants the application period that opened this week.  The Building Resilient Infrastructure & Communities (BRIC) has had $1 billion allocated this year.  Additionally, the Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) grant will have $800 million available in that grant’s national application competition funding stream.

A Non-Contractual and REQUIRED Letter of Interest (LOI) form to PEMA at RA-Shazmitoff@pa.gov .  All PEMA Letters of Interest must be sent to PEMA by COB, October 31, 2023.

This form can be found on the PEMA Website at:  https://www.pema.pa.gov/Grants/HMGP/Forms/Documents/19-Non-Disaster-HM-Grants-Letter-Of-Interest.pdf

All COMPLETE 2020 Non-Disaster Applications are due by COB (1700 EST) on December 15, 2023

Building Resilient Infrastructure & Communities (BRIC) Grant Application Guidance and Instructions Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2023
BRIC Direct Technical Assistance Request Form
Notice of Funding Opportunity for Fiscal Year 2023 Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities Program
Fiscal Year 2023 Flood Mitigation Assistance Notice of Funding Opportunity
Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) Grant Application Guidance and Instructions Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2023
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) Fiscal Year 2023 Flood Mitigation Assistance
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) Fiscal Year 2023 Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities


UPDATE 9/29/23

FEMA denies PA request for major disaster declaration following July floods

https://www.wfmz.com/news/area/berks/fema-denies-pa-request-for-major-disaster-declaration-following-july-floods/article_bb3a454e-5e14-11ee-aed9-e3e9e5353bb5.html

Berks County officials provided the following statement in response to the request's denial:


Berks County received word this week that the requested individual and public disaster declarations from FEMA related to the July 9 storms and flooding were denied. While the localized event did not generate the magnitude of damage required for this sort of disaster declaration, county government recognizes that affected residents and businesses face life-changing consequences.

This outcome does not deter the county in its efforts to secure other avenues of relief and funding for victims of the flooding. The denial of the FEMA assistance has opened the door for the pursuit of other types of assistance and local and county governments can now work with state and federal authorities to try to leverage those opportunities.

The first of these next steps is that Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro has asked the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to issue an SBA Disaster Declaration for Berks County. According to the SBA website, “The SBA offers disaster assistance in the form of low-interest loans to businesses, nonprofit organizations, homeowners, and renters located in regions affected by declared disasters. SBA also provides eligible small businesses and nonprofit organizations with working capital to help overcome the economic injury of a declared disaster.” If secured, SBA disaster loans can also offer long repayment terms and faster funding than other types of SBA loans.

“This was certainly a unique weather event that seriously impacted homes, businesses, and a school in a very small geographical area within Berks County,” said Berks County Commissioner Christian Leinbach. “The impacts are no less serious had it been a multi-county event. The fact that it is limited to such a small area and a single county made meeting the threshold for a federal declaration almost impossible. We are working with our Federal and State leaders to help address this crisis.”

Berks County government will inform the community when we have been notified of a decision regarding the SBA Disaster Declaration.

UPDATE 9/12/23


Town Hall presentation on flood prevention video link:

https://www.youtube.com/live/ipwQGkPaDqE?si=Z8BmhOOh5O5omVt0


UPDATE 9/12/23

The following is the contact information for the panel members from Monday night's Town Hall meeting.

Michael Stalnecker, Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, Eastern Area Deputy Director 610-562-3003

Emily Houdeshell, PEMA State NFIP Program Director 717-651-2114

Brian Gotschall, MPA, CEM, Director, County of Berks Department of Emergency Services 610-374-4800

Ed Boito, Local Government Liaison, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection 717-705-4704

Nick Dreibelbelbis, PennDOT Acting Berks County Maintenance Manager 610-929-0766

Doug Faber, PennDOT Assistant County Maintenance Manager 610-929-0766

Dean Druckenmiller, Executive Director, Berks County Conservation District 610-372-4657

Mark Buckwalter, PE, Civil Engineer, EWP State Program Manager, USDA NRCS 717-237-2100


UPDATE - 9/5/23

TOWN HALL MEETING - Muhlenberg Township invites residents to a Town Hall Meeting being held Monday, September 11th at 6PM in the Commissioner's meeting room located at the Township Building, 210 George Street, Reading PA 19605.

The topic of discussion is flood preparation, response, and recovery. There will be state and local officials present to provide a presentation followed by a Q&A session. 

UPDATE - WEEK OF AUGUST 21, 2023

Township officials and Commissioners are actively working to provide solutions and relief for residents affected by the storm on July 9th, 2023.

On August 8th, 2023, both Commissioners and Township officials collaborated with Senator Judy Schwank and her team. The aim was to maintain open communication among local, county, state, and federal agencies concerning the storm damage. As a result of these collaborative efforts, a public meeting has been scheduled for Monday, September 11, 2023, at the Township Municipal building. This meeting will involve local officials and representatives from the Department of Environment Protection.

For the latest updates from the County, please visit the Department of Emergency Services: https://www.countyofberks.com/departments/emergency-services.

The Township is currently in the process of obtaining emergency permits to clear streambed deposits within its jurisdiction. Further details on how residents can apply for these emergency permits will be provided shortly.


UPDATE 7/27/23

As a result of the recent flooding on July 9, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) would like to remind all municipalities and residents of the requirement to request an Emergency Permit prior to performing heavy work in any stream or wetland.  Heavy work would generally be described as stone, sediment, or sand bar removal, rerouting streams to their pre-flood condition, rebuilding of streambank retaining walls, or using heavy equipment in a stream channel.  These functions may not be undertaken without first receiving an Emergency Permit from the Department.  Emergency Permits may be obtained by contacting Ed Muzic at (717) 705-4765 or emuzic@pa.gov . Typically, Emergency Permits can be issued within 24-48 hours if we have all the information from the applicant and in some situations, EPs may even be able to be done in hours.  We can also be responsive during after-hours and on weekends.

In addition, we would like to remind everyone that spoils or dredgings from a stream may not be replaced back into a floodway or wetland without first obtaining a Chapter 105 permit. Clean spoils or dredgings should be placed out of a floodway and in upland areas for temporary storage until a solution for its proper removal has been identified.

To determine if you need an emergency permit, this handout is useful in understanding what actions performed in a stream would require approval from DEP:  Guidelines for Maintaining Streams in your Community

 The following Fact Sheet is also a good source of information relating to Emergency Permits and Emergency Debris Removal:  Emergency Permit Fact Sheet   and   Emergency Removal of Debris from Streams

 On this Fact Sheet, you will find information on the benefits of Stream Restoration vs. Dredging:  Advice on Flood Prevention and Management

UPDATE 7/24/23

If you experienced flood damage and need assistance with cleanup please use Crisis Cleanup to register. Crisis Cleanup crews are working in the area and are ready to assist.

Crisis Cleanup is a collaborative disaster work order management platform that improves coordination, reduces duplication of efforts, improves efficiency, and improves volunteers' experience.

Due to the overwhelming need, we have extended The Home Cleanup Hotline to help survivors of the flooding in the Northeast. We anticipate that most volunteer groups will work through Friday, August 4, 2023.

Survivors needing assistance can call (844) 965-1386.
_______________________________________________________

Debido a la abrumadora necesidad, hemos ampliado la línea directa de limpieza del hogar para ayudar a los sobrevivientes de las inundaciones en el noreste. Anticipamos que la mayoría de los grupos de voluntarios trabajarán hasta el viernes 4 de agosto de 2023.

Los sobrevivientes que necesiten asistencia pueden llamar al (844) 965-1386.

UPDATE 7/24/23


VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR PROPERTY OWNERS WITH STREAMBANK DAMAGE FROM THE STORM 2 WEEKS AGO.

Please note, this program will not provide you direct recovery assistance for damage to your home property BUT PLEASE DO NOT IGNORE THIS. This is an example of the kind of federal programs that can be brought into a flooded area and could be helpful in repairing the banks of affected waterways. However, if the survey effort does not show adequate impact, there is no chance for this assistance.

If you have a waterway on your property that has been damaged as described at the link, please complete the survey immediately.

If you have friends or family that were impacted in this way, please share to them.

https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/conservation-basics/conservation-by-state/pennsylvania/news/usda-seeks-disaster-recovery-needs-in?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

UPDATE 7/13/23

The Berks County Department of Emergency Services (Berks DES), the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA), and other state and county agencies and departments will open a Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC) July 12 to serve county residents with needs related to the catastrophic rainstorm and flooding that occurred on Sunday, July 9.

A MARC is a temporary, quick-response center where a variety of state and county agencies collect in a central location to provide direct support to community members affected by a disaster event. The Berks County MARC will be located at the Exeter Township School District Lausch Administration Building, at 200 Elm Street, Reading, PA. The MARC will be open Thursday from Noon to 7 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The following county and state agencies will be present at the MARC (list includes a description of some of the sorts of services they can provide):

  • Berks Department of Emergency Services – referrals to proper resources for individuals who have not yet reported their damage to local government;
  • Berks County Area Agency on Aging – assist older affected population;
  • Office of the Attorney General – information on contractor fraud, scams, etc.;
  • Department of Environmental Protection – safety advice and questions with respect to waterway management and private wells;
  • Department of Human Services – document replacement assistance (i.e. birth/death certificates, etc.), disability assistance services, new benefit applicants, etc.;
  • Berks County MH/DD office – crisis counseling services;
  • Department of Insurance – address questions and information on conflict issues with insurance carriers;
  • Department of Military and Veterans Affairs – assist with replacement of documents, info on veteran-specific programs available;
  • PEMA – general MARC support, disaster recovery information, National Flood Insurance Program information;
  • PennDOT – info on their online driver services, driver’s license replacement, etc.;
  • Department of Health – safety information.

Berks DES would like to remind all Berks County property owners, renters, and businesses who suffered property damage in relation to the rain and flooding in the past several days to report their damage to their local municipality as quickly as possible. Your local municipality is the city, borough or township to which you pay your local taxes. Complete and accurate collection of this information could help Berks County residents and businesses qualify for additional disaster recovery programs.

https://www.bctv.org/2023/07/13/berks-agencies-announce-multi-agency-resource-center-related-to-july-9-storm/