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Houlahan visits Chester County locations ravaged by Ida

  • Chrissy Travel Pic (4)
Originally Posted in the Daily Local. 

Rep. Houlahan meets with small business owners and borough officials from Modena, including Mark Highland, President of Organic Mechanics Soil Company (third from left, back row).

U.S. Rep. Chrissy Houlahan this week concluded a two-day Hurricane Ida aftermath survey where she crisscrossed the county, visiting the hardest hit areas. She met with homeowners in Oxford whose neighborhood was decimated by a tornado, resulting in nearly a dozen homes being uninhabitable; the Chief of Police in Downingtown whose station is under reconstruction due to storm damage; small business owners in Modena Borough calling for better upstream dam management; and local officials in Coatesville to discuss the federal disaster declaration issued last week.

“To the community members and small business owners who are still hurting from Hurricane Ida, I want you to know you aren’t forgotten,” said Houlahan. “The damage I saw to homes and businesses the past couple days left me speechless at times. We are a tight knit community, so it’s incredibly difficult to see residents disrupted from their lives and livelihoods. What was truly heartening, though, was seeing the unity between federal, state, and local partners, non-profits, and others just stepping up to help their neighbors. Our recovery is only beginning, but I’m committed to our collaborative work for our community in the days, weeks, and months ahead.”

As Houlahan met with the various groups representing residential, commercial, and governmental interests, they each had a message to share:

“There has been so much devastation, and the outpouring of support from our community has been overwhelming,” said the residents at the Oxford roundtable. “We still have many unanswered questions about how to repair our homes. We appreciate that Chrissy cares.”

“I never thought that I would have to give the order to abandon the station and not come back,” said Downingtown Police Chief Howard Holland. “I gave that order that night. There’s only one way to rebuild our community, and that’s together.”

“The aftermath of the September 1, 2021 storm waters left behind a trail of destruction, loss of property and forced residents out of their home,” said James Logan, City Manager of the City of Coatesville. “The Coatesville community is resilient, and we will do whatever we can to get residents back into their existing or maybe new home.”

Rep. Houlahan surveys damage to the beer garden at Animated Brewing in Coatesville with co-owner Jared Castaldi.

“Great to see the way community has come together,” said Jared Castaldi, Animated Brewing (Coatesville) co-owner. “I’m excited to report that we are resuming brewing operations today.”

“The business community in Modena welcomes Rep. Houlahan’s interest in making our entire district more resilient to extreme weather events,” said Mark Highland, President of Organic Mechanics Soil Company. “This will require citizens, business, and government to work together toward a shared beneficial outcome. We look forward to receiving more guidance as to how we can help in this endeavor.”