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Federal relief coming to Luzerne and Schuylkill Counties after flooding caused by Hurricane Ida

Help is on the way for people in two counties who were hit by flooding last month.

HANOVER TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Federal relief is coming to Luzerne and Schuylkill Counties in the wake of Hurricane Ida.

Hurricane Ida's impact was felt across the area as inches of rain fell in a matter of hours, causing flooding in Hanover Township, but federal money is coming to help make repairs.

Businesses inside the Crossroads Shopping Center spent days clearing out floodwaters. 

The heaviest flooding happened in Luzerne and Schuylkill Counties. 

Wilkes-Barre resident Joe Shapiro saw Solomon Creek rising and was concerned it would break the levy.

He said, "It was scary because you could just see that thing coming up as you watched it. When you see water coming up like that, it's scary."

The barrier remained intact, but the storm didn't leave the area untouched. In response, the Wolf administration is announcing Luzerne and Schuylkill Counties received federal disaster declaration funds to help in recovery.

Now, the Wolf administration says the federal disaster declaration assistance is expanding to help those counties.

Damage assessments and reviews are ongoing.

Floodwaters in Wilkes-Barre damaged roadways and forced repairs that those federal funds may now help cover.

County and municipal governments are getting money to fix roads and bridges and cover the costs of the initial response.

It's not clear how much each county received, but the state says the federal money can cover up to 75 percent of the costs associated with Ida, and state dollars will help with the rest.

Shapiro says any help is welcome news.

"That's fantastic because the more this area gets fixed up and protected that will bring in a nice element of people and stuff like that and get this area back to the way it was," added Shapiro.

The state estimates the remnants of Ida caused more than $44 million worth of damage in Pennsylvania communities.

Other counties included in the reimbursement are Bedford, Fulton, Huntingdon, Philadelphia, and York.

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