Yesterday, Gov. Tom Wolf was joined by state Sen. Anthony H. Williams (D-Philadelphia/Delaware) and House Democratic Leader Joanna McClinton (D-Philadelphia/Delaware) at the virtual press conference where he unveiled his plan to address flood hazard mitigation by requiring the State Planning Board to develop a series of recommendations and best practices for land use, planning, zoning, and storm water management to reduce the incidence of flash flooding. The State Planning Board will establish state goals and strategic investments to assist municipalities, which state agencies will then incorporate into their appropriate funding applications.
PA has always been the most flood prone state in America due to our geology. In 2018 in Pennsylvania, more than 5,000 homes were damaged in a series of incidents, but no single incident met the threshold for federal disaster assistance. That year, almost $63 million in public infrastructure damages alone were not reimbursable through federal disaster programs. The State Disaster Assistance Program created in 2014 (Act 187) remains unfunded.
“We cannot depend on federal aid as a reliable source of funding to recover from disasters since the thresholds to qualify for assistance increase every year,” Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency Director Randy Padfield said. “Federal data show that every dollar spent on mitigation saves on average, six dollars in recovery, so mitigation not only saves lives and property but is also the fiscally smart thing to do.” Click here for more.