Disaster declared as York County works to restore power, fix roads after Ida

Matt Enright
York Dispatch

York County officials signed a disaster declaration in order to expedite recovery from Tropical Storm Ida, even as they're still assessing the damage.

As of Friday morning, nearly 6,000 homes were still without power as crews continued to clean out from the major flooding event.

"We continue to assess the full impact of the storm, but we can tell you that some areas of the county received as much as 7½ inches of rain," said Board of Commissioners President Julie Wheeler.

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That generated nearly 550 storm-related 911 calls, 27 of which were water rescues. Nearly 100 roads and bridges were closed due to flooding, though Wheeler said many of them have reopened.

The worst flooding was seen on the Conewago Creek, which topped out at 21 feet, about seven times its normal level.

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The disaster disaster declaration signed by the commissioners will help expedite necessary repairs as homeowners deal with their insurance carriers. 

York County is encouraging any residents who had their property damaged to inform the county of the damages. That includes reporting storm damage on the county's website or calling 211. 

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Office of Emergency Management Deputy Director Bill James said it would be difficult to know if York County would hit the threshold needed for a federal disaster declaration until all of the damages are documented.

The county has been receiving periodic updates from power companies; the amount of customers without power has dropped from around 7,000 last night to the approximate 2,800 this afternoon.

"It's a lot of infrastructure, they can't just turn the power on," he said. "They have to make sure trees are cleared up and down stream of that area, that sort of thing. So it's even harder for them to give a good estimate." 

Matt Enright can be reached through email at menright@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @Matthew_Enright.

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