Nearly $195,000 in disaster aid has been distributed so far to victims of last September’s river flooding from Tropical Storm Lee in central Pennsylvania, according to the Pennsylvania Credit Union Foundation.
The flood assistance was distributed to 239 credit union members and employees from 35 Pennsylvania credit unions, the foundation said.
In support of the relief effort, the PCUF contributed $100,000, the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association, $50,000 and the National Credit Union Foundation’s CUAid Disaster Relief Fund, $45,000.
“It’s remarkable that all of us were able to process so many grants in such a short period of time and to get funds to the victims of the disaster,” said PCUF Executive Director Joe Wambach, who on his own toured the flood-hit towns along the Susquehanna River.
The effort demonstrates PCUF’s “profound concern” for the flood victims “as well as our hope that the funds are a first step in their recovery,” Wambach said.
The PCUF also noted that all of the funds earmarked for the disaster “have been depleted and therefore no additional grant applications are being accepted.”
During the Susquehanna tour, Wambach said, he found that of the 32 CU members and employees in the West Pittston area who received assistance “just one of the homes was actually occupied, while several had been condemned.”
“What was evident, however, was a beehive of cleanup, road repair, and renovation activities by contractors,” he said, adding that victims close to hard-hit Wilkes-Barre “have only just begun to recover.”
“Most of the victims there have not returned and are either living with relatives or had to relocate to other areas during the Christmas season,” Wambach concluded.