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City Responds to Damage & Flooding from Ida

posted Sep 30, 2021, 9:01 AM by David Cardy
The City continues to manage the storm damage and flooding impacts from the remnants of Hurricane Ida. The Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management has opened reception centers for people who may be impacted by storm damage, including flooding at their residences.

The region has seen historic flooding on the Schuylkill River along with other waterways in the city. 

If you live in a flood-prone area and are experiencing flooding, please shelter in place until the water recedes and it becomes safe to leave your home. 

To help the City understand the extent of damage caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida and to see where resources and recovery assistance may be needed, we’re asking anyone impacted by this severe storm to answer a short survey and upload any photos they may have into our damage assessment toolPhilly311 is available for help completing the survey by phone from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m Monday through Friday.

Additional weather alerts or emergency information will be sent to ReadyPhiladelphia subscribers (via text message) as well as on OEM’s social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter.

Below, residents can find:

  • Rolling updates.
  • Where to report issues.
  • Helpful links and resources.
  • Frequently asked questions.

Recent Updates 

September 25, 2021

Information from FEMA Region 3 Press Release:

Pennsylvania/FEMA Disaster Recovery Center Will Open in Philadelphia to Help Pennsylvanians

HARRISBURG – The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania/FEMA Disaster Recovery Center located at 7219 Ridge Avenue in Philadelphia will open on Saturday, September 25, at 1:00 p.m. to help those whose homes or personal property were affected by the remnants of Hurricane Ida between August 31-September 5, 2021.

The Philadelphia County DRC, operating in partnership with the Philadelphia’s Office of Emergency Management, is located at the former CVS location, 7219 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19128.

Hours of operation:
Monday – Friday: 10 a.m. -7:00 p.m.
Saturday – 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

DRCs provide disaster survivors with information from Pennsylvania state agencies, FEMA, and the U.S. Small
Business Administration. Survivors can get help applying for federal assistance, learn about the types of assistance available, learn about the appeals process and get updates on applications.

Visiting a Disaster Recovery Center is not required to register with FEMA.

In addition to visiting a DRC, you can register:
• Call the FEMA Helpline at 1-800-621-3362. Multilingual operators are available. Persons who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY may call 1-800-462-7585. If you use 711 or VRS (Video Relay Service) or require accommodations while visiting a center, call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free numbers are open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. EST.
• Help is available in most languages, and information on the registration process is available online at or for Spanish.
• Download the FEMA mobile app (also in Spanish), wherever you access your mobile applications.

Disaster Recovery Centers are accessible to people with disabilities. They have assistive technology equipment that allows disaster survivors to use amplified telephones, phones that display text, amplified listening devices for people with hearing loss, and magnifiers for people with vision loss. Video Remote Interpreting is available and in-person sign language is available by request. The centers also have accessible parking, ramps, and restrooms.

FEMA’s Individual Assistance program is designed to help survivors with immediate essential needs and to help displaced survivors find a safe, functional place to live temporarily until they can return home. Many survivors may have additional needs beyond what can be provided by FEMA. The agency works closely with (Commonwealth)state, federal, faith-based, and voluntary agencies to help match survivors who have remaining needs with other sources of assistance.

For updates on the Pennsylvania response and recovery, follow the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency on Twitter and Facebook Additional information is available at

For information about SBA’s disaster assistance, call 800-659-2955, email, or visit SBA’s website at Deaf and hard of hearing individuals may call 800-877-8339.


September 20, 2021

Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Secretary Jennifer Berrier announced today Pennsylvanians who live or work in one of the six counties impacted by remnants of Hurricane Ida are eligible to apply for temporary Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) beginning today.

Deadline to apply for DUA benefits is October 20, 2021.

September 15, 2021

The U.S. Small Business Administration is opening a Business Recovery Center at the Falls of the Schuylkill Library beginning Wednesday, September 15th to assist Pennsylvania businesses and others that qualify with one-on-one assistance in submitting a disaster loan application if they were impacted by the remnants of Hurricane Ida on August 31st through September 5th.

The US SBA wants you to know that ANYONE can get help with their SBA disaster loan application at that center, not just business owners. Also, you can live anywhere in the declared counties and go to any recovery center for assistance.

The SBA Business Recovery Center is different than the FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers.

SBA Business Recovery Center, Philadelphia
Falls of the Schuylkill Library, 3501 Midvale Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19129
Wednesday, September 15th Noon-8 p.m.
Monday and Wednesday, noon – 8 p.m.
Tuesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Friday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Closed: Saturday and Sunday

September 13, 2021

The City provided an update today on Ida recovery after the Major Disaster Declaration and what it means for affected residents and businesses. This includes info on damage estimates and ways that those who experienced damage from the major storm can begin their financial aid process with FEMA.

Also, FEMA’s Disaster Survivor Assistance Teams will be in impacted neighborhoods to hand out informational flyers as well as talk with residents about registering for FEMA assistance. Please be aware that they will be wearing FEMA gear and have appropriate federal identification.

Be aware of scams and know your rights as property owners. More information from Pennsylvania State Attorney General Josh Shapiro. 

September 11, 2021

Governor Tom Wolf announced that Pennsylvania was approved by President Joe Biden for a Major Disaster Declaration following damage from Tropical Depression Ida.

Eligible residents and businesses can apply for financial assistance in their recovery in three ways:

  • Online at
  • Over the phone 1-888-621-FEMA (3362)
  • In-person at at Disaster Recovery Center *to be announced

Please record you FEMA identification number. You will need it through your process.

The City urges all who were impacted by Ida to be prepared when applying for support and to continue documenting all storm-related damage and costs, including receipts, insurance denials, and photos of damage. 

If individuals have submitted damage reports with the City through the online assessment tool, they will still need to begin a new case and file information with FEMA in accordance with its damage assessment requirements. 

Stay connected to developments by texting STORMPHL to 888-777 to receive free alerts. Information will also be posted to the City’s information blog and the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management’s Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Where to report issues

Gas odors

If anyone smells a gas odor, they should immediately leave the area and call 911 or Philadelphia Gas Works at 215-235-1212 and provide the address or location. PGW’s Customer Call Center (215-235-1000) will be open.

Drinking water quality issues

Residents who experience discolored water after flooding should call (215) 685-6300 right away so an inspector can investigate.

Clogged inlets

PWD crews worked to clear storm drains of mud and debris after the flooding from Hurricane Ida, but if residents believe any local inlets are not draining properly, they should report the exact location by calling (215) 685-6300.

Fallen trees

  • Street trees 
    • If a tree falls and is blocking a road, or it has fallen on a house, car or other property, call 911. Emergency services will respond to make the location safe.
    • If the fallen tree is touching electrical wires, please call PECO at (800) 841-4141 to report.
    • For non-emergency tree requests contact Philly311. Non-emergencies include downed trees or branches that are not blocking a road or not on a house, car, or property, or when not touching electrical wires.
  • Park trees
    • If a tree falls in an open area of a park, please contact Philly311 to report. 311 will send a service request to the Parks & Rec maintenance team to clear the fallen tree. 
    • For emergencies involving park trees, please call 911. These emergencies would include park trees that have fallen onto playground equipment, cars, or the street. 
  • Private property trees
    • Fallen trees on private property are the property owner’s responsibility to resolve. If a tree from a neighboring property has caused damage to your property, please seek legal counsel. 

Crisis Cleanup 

Home Cleanup Hotline has been activated for the Commonwealth. Those needing assistance can sign up by calling the national toll-free number at 844-965-1386. Signing up for Crisis Cleanup does not guarantee help and calling Crisis Cleanup does not replace calling local or county emergency management to report the damage. 

Helpful links and resources

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find information about flooding and resources?

Residents and businesses can find information about flooding response and resources on the  City’s Flood Management Program page, including flooding resources for various areas impacted by flooding.

If your property experiences flooding, complete the City’s Flood Report Survey to provide the City with information that can help the City plan for the future.

Once waters recede, businesses and homeowners should take photos of any storm or flood damage. If it is safe to do so, take photos before any repairs are made.

Who can I contact for financial assistance?

If you have renter’s or owner’s insurance, contact your insurance company as soon as possible. Please note that flood damage is not typically covered by typical insurance policies: Flood insurance is a separate policy/rider. Ask who you should talk to about cleaning up your home. Document damage by taking pictures, if the area is safe. Consider making a list of all the items damaged. Save all receipts for any money spent during recovery.

Who can I contact to help clean up the damage? 

If you have insurance, contact your insurance company to ask about recommended contractors/water damage restoration companies.  

Repairs may first require obtaining a permit from the City. Visit the following website to ensure that the contractor you hire is licensed

Before hiring any contractor, you should research the contractor – including checking multiple references, searching the internet, and contacting the Better Business Bureau – to ensure that the contractor is competent and honest. 

My house is flooded, but I have nowhere to go. How do I get lodging? 

Please reach out to the Red Cross hotline: 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767).  

Where can I get meals? 

Please call 311, which has a variety of resources they can refer you to. City-supported public food sites can also be found by visiting 

I do not have important items with me 

How do I get paper documentation such as a license or proof of ID? 

  • PennDOT provides replacements of destroyed vehicle titles, driver’s licenses, and vehicle registration cards following a disaster. Please call 800-932-4600 or visit  
  • You can request a replacement Social Security card online
  • The PA Department of Health provides copies of birth and death certificates. A state declaration is required for fees to be waived. Please call 717-772-3480 or visit

How do I get medications?

Contact your pharmacy to ask about an emergency refill. If you have a Medicare drug plan, your plan may cover replacement medicine. When leaving your home, please remember to bring any medications you have and copies of your prescriptions.   

Where can I access legal services? 

Community Legal Services (CLS) offers attorney support for housing, public benefits, employment, and many other areas. They can be reached at 215-981-3700 or   

What mental health supports are available? 

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health emergency, the 24/7 Suicide Crisis & Intervention phone number is 1-800-273-855, or text “HOME” to 741741.  

The Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS) operates a free, 24/7 Mental Health Delegate phone number. Delegates can assist with information, guidance, and referrals for you and your family. They can be reached at 215-685-6440.   

Additionally, you can learn more about Mental Health First aid and get free mental health screening by visiting Healthy Minds Philly.