With the assistance of Catholic Charities, some badly needed manpower will aid in the Southern Tier flood-relief effort in upcoming months.
A team of disaster-relief workers arrived Oct. 21 in Tioga County. The workers are being contracted by Catholic Charities USA in conjunction with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and United States Department of Health and Human Services. Their main role will be to visit families and determine eligibility for FEMA assistance, according to Anthony Barbaro, associate director of diocesan Catholic Charities.
Barbaro said there will be approximately 13 team members at any one time, with some of the disaster-response workers being hired locally for temporary duty. The team will stay for up to six months "to meet hopefully all the demands and needs of people in Tioga who have been inundated," Barbaro said. He noted that close to 3,000 Tioga households have registered with FEMA up to this point and the total is likely rise notably as the disaster-relief squad digs in.
Barbaro added that the help is being provided at no cost to diocesan Catholic Charities, with area Catholic Charities staff members helping to coordinate the effort.