Yorkers whose homes and businesses were damaged during Hurricane Sandy will probably be left to fund the cleanup on their own, relying only on their insurance policies or charitable aid.
The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency announced last week that federal disaster aid has been made available to Pennsylvania for areas affected by the storm Oct. 26 through Nov. 8 last year.
President Barack Obama's declaration makes federal funding available for public aid, given to local governments and some private nonprofits that sustained damage. It names 16 counties, including adjacent Dauphin County, but excludes York County.
York would have had to meet a damage threshold to be included in the federal disaster declaration for public assistance, said Ruth Miller, spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.
York County spokesman Carl Lindquist said York fell short of the $1.5 million in damage it would have had to sustain, with damage reports totaling only $32,250.
For individuals? Miller said it's also unlikely a declaration for individual assistance for homeowners and businesses is on the horizon.
"Overall, our damages, while significant, were not as extensive as neighboring states," she said.
There is no damage threshold that automatically triggers individual assistance, as there is for public assistance, she said, but FEMA makes a determination for individual assistance based on need.
Lindquist said the county reported two mobile homes destroyed, 22 homes with major damage, 26 homes with minor damage and 20 that were "affected" in some way.
"Based on the damage reported and past experience, we don't expect York County to become eligible for either public assistance or individual assistance," Lindquist said.
He recommended Yorkers in need contact the United Way's "Free Information and Referral System Teleline," or FIRST.
The public service, which link people to programs they might need, is available at 755-1000 or 1-800-673-2529.
-- Reach Christina Kauffman at ckauffma firstname.lastname@example.org.