How Pennsylvanians Impacted by Wednesday’s Storm Can Get Help

People walk by a downed tree in Fort Washington Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021 in the aftermath of downpours and high winds from the remnants of Hurricane Ida that hit the area. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

By Patrick Berkery

September 2, 2021

As officials assess the damage from Wednesday’s powerful storm, resources are available to Pennsylvania residents who need assistance.

Pennsylvania was walloped Wednesday by the remnants of Hurricane Ida, which brought record-breaking rains, high winds, and even a few tornadoes to the state, leaving homes destroyed and areas flooded.

One of the hardest hit regions was Montgomery County, where three people were killed in the storm and a confirmed tornado stretched from Fort Washington to Horsham. Valerie Arkoosh, chairperson of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners, said that a woman was killed when a tree fell into her home, and that two other people drowned: one in a home and the other in a car.

Two confirmed tornadoes also touched down in Bucks County, and Scranton reported its “wettest day on record,” according to the governor’s office.

To the west, parts of Johnstown were evacuated for a time Wednesday after water reached dangerous levels at the Wilmore Dam near the city, which was the site of a devastating flood in 1889 where 2,200 people died after the South Fork Dam burst. Harrisburg and Altoona each reported their third wettest days on record.

Gov. Tom Wolf said officials are surveying the damage to communities and assured residents that resources will soon be available to help them.

In the meantime, if you or someone you know has suffered property loss or damage due to the storm, here are some resources already available for assistance.

  • Find answers to many questions regarding how and where to report property damage on the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency’s website.
  • Residents who need help cleaning up fallen trees; removing damaged drywall, appliances, and flooring; or tarping roofs and removing mold can call the Crisis Cleanup Hotline at 844-965-1386.
  • Check 511PA for an updated list of the roads and bridges that remain closed due to flooding.
  • Those feeling stress and sadness after the storm are encouraged to call the Disaster Distress Hotline at 800-985-5990 for support.
  • The Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania has shelters open at Norristown and Coatesville high schools.
  • Berks County residents can report property damage here.
  • Chester County residents can report property damage to their respective municipalities here.
  • Residents of Lehigh County can report property damage here or by calling the Lehigh County Emergency Management Agency at (610) 782-4600.
  • Montgomery County residents can report property damage here or by texting MontcoIda to 888-777. 
  • York County residents can report property damage here.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.


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