Governor Wolf, PEMA Provide Update on Flooding Response in North Central Pennsylvania
October 21, 2016
Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf and Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) Director Richard D. Flinn Jr. reassured residents of Central PA that the commonwealth would ensure counties and municipalities have the resources they need. Heavy rainfall over night dropped in excess of six inches of rain causing flash flooding in some towns across the center of the commonwealth, including areas of Centre, Clinton, Lycoming, Bradford and Sullivan Counties.
Governor Wolf deployed members of the Pennsylvania National Guard to Lycoming County to assist in the response.
“The commonwealth stands ready to assist counties, municipalities and first responders in responding to the effects of this very serious storm,” Governor Wolf said. “I implore residents of these areas to make the safety of their families and neighbors, especially the elderly, their top priority and to listen to law enforcement and emergency management officials as they work to clear debris, open roads and assess larger damage. Director Flinn and I will continue to monitor this situation and engage local officials and emergency responders to ensure they have the support that they need.”
“As flood water starts to recede, people need to understand that they need to be careful as they return to their homes and businesses,” Flinn said. “It’s likely that some roadways will remain closed until they can be inspected and repaired if necessary, so it’s important that drivers observe any road closure signs. Just because the water has gone away doesn’t necessarily mean the roads are safe for motorists.”
The Commonwealth Response Coordination Center (CRCC) at PEMA headquarters activated at 5 a.m. with personnel from Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA), PA Dept. of Health (DOH), American Red Cross (ARC), PA Dept. of Human Services (DHS), PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP), PA Fish and Boat Commission (Fish & Boat), Pennsylvania State Police (PSP), and PA Dept. of Transportation (PennDOT.)
In response to the flooding, PennDOT Area Command has activated to monitor roadway conditions and quickly respond to inspect any damaged state roadways. One PA Fish and Boat Commission swift water rescue team is engaged in Sullivan County, and another is enroute to the Williamsport area. The PA Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team (PAHART) is preparing to deploy at this time.
The Department of Environmental Protection also has personnel on the ground to monitor environmental issues and address any concerns as they arise. Flinn is in contact with county emergency management personnel, and the state Incident Management Team is preparing for possible deployment to assist in recovery efforts.
The Department of Health has tetanus shots available to citizens who may be at risk of contracting tetanus due to the flooding.
If you have been wounded during flood clean-up, or are involved with cleanup and haven’t had a tetanus shot in more than 10 years, speak with your health care professional or call 877-PA-HEALTH to see if you need a tetanus shot.
Residents can learn more safety tips related to flooding by visiting www.ready.gov/floods.
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