WEST BRADFORD – Russell Hightower watched from the roof of his house on Brandywine Avenue last week as rain trickled into his home from the remains of Hurricane Ida.
“I watched the raging river literally three feet below me,” said Hightower. I saw a car wash down the Brandywine. We lost everything on the first floor. My basement was completely submerged. I’ve never seen it so bad. “
Hightower was one of the hundreds of residents affected by Ida to seek the help and services of the county to assist them in their recovery. A Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC) was established at the United Sports Training Center in West Bradford, giving residents access to representatives of nonprofit disaster relief organizations. The MARC is on 09.09. in operation again from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Residents who seek help from MARC will receive help reporting property damage and contacting local authorities, an important first step in applying for future state and federal assistance.
About 40 agencies were on hand Wednesday afternoon to offer assistance, including the American Red Cross, United Way, Salvation Army, Southeastern Pennsylvania Legal Aid, Home of the Sparrow, Career Link, and many more.
The United Sports Training Center will be used as a resource center for people displaced by floods in Chester County. (FRAN MAYE – MEDIANEWS GROUP)
Chester County commissioners said they would do everything possible to provide the displaced with the help they need.
“I’ve seen neighbors firsthand rescuing neighbors, people cleaning up houses for others, and churches gathering,” said Marian Moskowitz, district commissioner. “It’s an incredible sight. People are ready to help others. It shows the Chester County route. We have to do everything we can to get it to work. “
Josh Maxwell, a Chester County commissioner who has lived in Downingtown for more than 30 years, said it was the worst storm he has ever seen.
“I’ve got thousands of emails and messages from people asking how they could help,” Maxwell said. “We’re here to make sure we don’t leave anyone behind. We will ensure that everyone affected by the flood immediately receives the resources they need to get back on their feet. “
District commissioner Michelle Kichline said the district officials will ensure that anyone who has suffered a loss can get well.
“We are here to provide food resources and help you report your losses so you can get help from the appropriate authorities,” she said.
Josh Maxwell, Chester County commissioner, speaks at a news conference in West Bradford on Wednesday. (FRAN MAYE MEDIANEWS GROUP)
Pat Bokovitz, Chester County’s director of human services, said he hoped those who suffered losses from the storm will come to the United Sports Training Center by September 9.
“We want to make sure we connect with everyone and nobody falls through the cracks,” he said. “It can be overwhelming. We are looking for the connection (displaced residents) to providers in the community who can stay with them. This is a marathon, not a sprint. People who come here today are not going to solve their problems today, but it’s a starting point. “
Flood damage to houses is usually not covered by household insurance, so the damage is not recoverable.
William Turner, assistant director of emergency management for Chester County, said that residents were even offered psychological counseling to residents affected by the storm.
The United Sports Training Center is located at 1426 Marshallton-Thorndale Road.
A house cleaning hotline has been set up for Chester County residents affected by Hurricane Ida. Call 844-965-1386 to connect with volunteers from local organizations, community groups, and faith groups to help with fallen trees, dry stone walls, floor and equipment removal, roof planning, and mold control. All services are free, but the service cannot be guaranteed due to overwhelming demand. The hotline will remain open until Friday, September 17th.