Pa. gets more than $100 million more in Hurricane Ida relief
FEMA’s new pilot program known as fast current can pay for buyouts, demolitions, moves or elevations of properties. The program is a faster, more targeted version of an annual competitive grant opportunity that states can leverage for flood mitigation work.
The program applies to properties that have special FEMA designations because they suffered repeated and costly flood damage or were significantly damaged after August 26, 2021.
“Homeowners, when they experience repeat loss and just the heartache and all that is associated with repeat loss, it’s an opportunity for them to elevate their property, to get it out of harm’s way,” said Angel Gillette, grants specialist at FEMA. Regional Directorate of Floodplain Management and Insurance.
The $5 million from the AP could pay for flood mitigation work on about two dozen properties, said Dustin Brosius, chief of FEMA’s regional hazard mitigation branch. That’s more than the state has received on average through the normal annual competitive grant process, according to FEMA. Projects anywhere in the state are eligible for funding — not just in Ida-affected counties.
In 2018, Pennsylvania had more than 8,500 repeat loss and severe repeat loss properties, which the Swift Current program focuses on.
Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Mississippi and New Jersey were chosen for Swift Current funding among the eight states that received major disaster declarations from Ida, due to their high number of insured properties that have been flooded several times, as well as their high number of total flood insurance. complaints. Swift Current is FEMA’s first initiative funded by the bipartisan Infrastructure Act, which has allocated billions to the agency to reduce the costs of future escalating disasters.
Property owners will likely see Swift Current’s money as early as this fall. It can cover 90 to 100 percent of project costs, Gillette said, and could help residents who live in at-risk areas move to safer homes or lower their flood insurance rates.
Gillette encourages owners to contact their local emergency management agency to find out if they can participate.
“It’s certainly an opportunity that owners who experience these repeat losses could consider to avoid this in the future,” Gillette said.