Clarion County expected to adopt disaster declaration

A backhoe dumps debris into a trash container in the vicinity of Vine Street in New Bethlehem as rain falls on Monday morning. (By Randy Bartley)
Staff writer

The Clarion County commissioners signed a disaster emergency declaration as a result of the flash flood that hit the southern part of the county on Friday night into Saturday morning.

The declaration, which is the first step toward requesting state aid, is expected to be adopted this morning during the commissioners’ board meeting.

Upon its adoption, the declaration will take effect immediately and will remain in force for seven days unless extended by the commissioners.

The declaration states the disaster “caused or threatened to cause injury, damage and suffering” to the persons and property of Clarion County.

“Emergency management measures are required to reduce the severity of this disaster and to protect the health, safety and welfare of the affected residents of the county,” the declaration states.

The declaration allows the commissioners to direct the Clarion County public safety director to coordinate activities of the emergency response and to take all appropriate action needed to alleviate the effects of the flash flood.

The public safety director is also authorized to restore essential public services and to take any other emergency response action deemed necessary to respond to the emergency.

The declaration also allows the county to employ temporary workers, rent equipment, and purchase supplies and materials to meet the emergency without regard to “time consuming procedures and formalities normally prescribed by law.”

The county’s Public Safety Department was assessing the extent of damages from the weekend flooding on Monday. A report is expected to be issued at today’s county commissioners meeting.