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Wolf administration provides flood insurance, grant funding information

Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller talks about options on Monday for flood insurance and grant funding speaks during a news conference at the Milesburg Community Center.
Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller talks about options on Monday for flood insurance and grant funding speaks during a news conference at the Milesburg Community Center. psheehan@centredaily.com

In October, areas in Centre County experienced devastating flooding.

More than 100 evacuations or rescues were required in Milesburg and surrounding areas. The county estimated that $2 million in damage had been done to infrastructure. More than 400 properties were damaged.

Members of Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration spoke at a news conference Monday afternoon at the Milesburg Community Center about ways residents and communities can protect themselves from flooding in the future.

Flooding in Pennsylvania can happen anytime and anywhere, said Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller.

The next several weeks, though, are prime time for flooding, she said.

People who live in special flood hazard areas must purchase flood insurance, Miller said, adding that anyone can purchase it.

Information on the National Flood Insurance Program and private flood insurance can be found on the state’s “one-stop shop” website, Miller said.

Redrawing of flood hazard area maps and rising premiums have offered an opportunity for private flood insurance carriers to provide coverage, she said.

Steve Bekanich, Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency director of the Bureau of Recovery and Mitigation, discussed three grant programs: hazard mitigation, flood mitigation and pre-disaster mitigation.

PEMA does acquisitions, elevations and flood retrofitting activities through the grant programs for those who meet the eligibility requirements, Bekanich said.

Residents can also challenge their inclusion in a special flood hazard area, said Dan Fitzpatrick, state NFIP coordinator in the Department of Community and Economic Development.

A public meeting was scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday for residents to meet with officials and learn about the various options.

Sarah Rafacz: 814-231-4619, @SarahRafacz

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