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areas or critical facilities • Imminent threats to public health and safety • Impacts to essential government services and functions • Unique capability of federal government • Dispersion or concentration of damage • Level of insurance coverage in place for homeowners and public facilities • Assistance available from other sources such as federal, state, local or voluntary organizations • State and local resource commitments from previous, undeclared events • Frequency of disaster events over recent period of time.
Questions remain as to what will be covered under FEMA relief if it is awarded. Murphy said FEMA funds may be applied to snow assistance costs and events that happen within a 48hour window of the snowfall. Whether the current situation, where there were two storms striking within three days of each other, would require separate applications or a single one, he couldn’t say.
Forward Township Supervisor Tom Headley noted that his community, which had to hire four contractors on an open-ended basis, incurred many of its expenses after the first 48 hours passed.
“People were working but they couldn’t do anything because of the trees and wires down,” he said. “We were paralyzed here almost through Saturday.” Elizabeth Township Commissioners President Joanne Beckowitz asked whether the township’s emergency management coordinator, Damien Michaels, would be eligible for reim bursement using FEMA funds. Beckowitz said the coordinator’s position is not normally on payroll but the township wanted to “put a wage to his time.” Murphy said he wasn’t sure if the time will be reimbursable.
“Just keep track of every penny,” he advised municipalities toward the end of the call.
State Rep. David Levdansky, D-Forward, said he will be returning to the area Thursday night after getting stranded in Harrisburg during the second storm. He said he’ll ask that the governor make a formal request for federal relief funds when he returns to the state capital, and keep pressure on Allegheny Power to get electricity restored to all residents.
Levdansky said anyone whose power has not been restore should contact his office at 412-384-2258.
Lincoln resident David Collura was one of those still without power Thursday.
“There’s no excuse for this,” he said.
Collura said he’s been snowed into his home for days, unable to leave out of concern for his pets and farm animals, and heating his home with a fireplace.
Collura, who estimated he has enough wood to get him through until Saturday, said “Having electricity back would make me feel better.” On Thursday, 93 percent of the 432,000 Allegheny Power customers who lost power from the storms had had their service restored.
Locally, the utility’s Charleroi center still had 749 malfunctioning lines, leaving 10,719 customers without power, while its Jefferson center had 481 malfunctions and 6,591 customers without service.
Elizabeth Forward School District is looking forward to getting back to normal. Classes are canceled for today but are scheduled to resume Monday, which had previously been scheduled off for Presidents Day.