New Castle News


July 12, 2013

Storm Aftermath: County declares disaster

NEW CASTLE — The Lawrence County commissioners have issued a declaration of disaster.

Chairman Dan Vogler said he and Commissioner Bob Del Signore Sr. signed the document yesterday morning.

“We don’t know if the commonwealth has yet issued a disaster declaration,” Vogler said. “We were hit hard but are not the only county affected by this serious event.”

The declaration states a tornado and severe thunderstorm with flash flooding with the potential to endanger the health, safety and welfare of individuals threatening injury, damage or suffering, hit the county.

Wednesday’s event required emergency management measures to reduce the severity of the disaster and protect residents.

The declaration directed the county emergency management coordinator to coordinate activities of emergency response, take appropriate actions to alleviate effects of the disaster and to aid and restore essential public services.

The advantage of issuing a declaration, Vogler said, is if the county is required to make purchases of equipment to deal with damages resulting from the storm, officials may bypass the normal bidding process to obtain necessary items quickly.

If the state issues a declaration, he continued, the county will be able to request state funds to assist with local issues.

Brian Melcer, Lawrence County public safety director, said he is performing a disaster assessment. This involves teams inspecting areas damaged by the weather, he explained.

“Overall, the tornado was the event that started it off.”

The tornado wiped out two barns and some out buildings in North Beaver Township.

The hardest-hit areas were the central and south-central parts of the county, which experienced flooding. That flooding affected roads and bridges in New Castle, Shenango and Slippery Rock townships and South New Castle Borough.

The report will determine if the county qualifies for disaster assistance, he said.

As of yesterday afternoon, disaster declarations had been filed by the county, New Castle, Shenango and North Beaver townships and New Beaver Borough.

Although two barns were destroyed, Melcer said, water caused the most serious damage through basement flooding.

He said anyone who has sustained a loss — whether a flooded basement, damage to a business or a municipality’s washed out road or bridge — should contact his office at (724) 658-7485.

An automated answering system will direct the caller.

“We will collect the data and a team will come out to do an assessment,” he said. “Then we will send the report to Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.”

Melcer said the first responders did well.

“We received the severe thunderstorm warning, but got no tornado warning,” he said. “Still, everyone turned out and kept up. Everyone did as they were trained to do.”



Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Bobby_Ferrara.jpg Ferrara comes home after life in the ring

    Former New Castle resident Bob Ferrara has spent much of his 77 years inside a boxing ring. A Pittsburgh Golden Gloves champion in 1958, Ferrara — who was known then as Bobby Ferry — continued to find success long after leaving his hometown for the sunny skies of Tucson, Ariz.

    August 1, 2014 2 Photos

  • VerySpecial.jpg Jameson Hoyt Atrium display spotlights artwork of special needs kids and adults

    Artwork from dozens of area students will take center stage Thursday in the Hoyt Atrium of Jameson Hospital. The Very Special Arts exhibit will kick off with an opening reception at 5 p.m., and the works will remain on display in the glass-enclosed walkway through Oct. 4.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • DougDanko.jpg Census shows county population getting older

    Lawrence County’s population continues to get older. However, it is not alone, as Pennsylvania overall is aging.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • backpackproject.jpg Councilman picks up tab to help lunch program

    Participants of a local summer feeding program are eating this week courtesy of New Castle City Councilman Tim Fulkerson. On Friday morning, the truck dispatched from New Castle to pick up about 3,500 pounds of items from the Pittsburgh Food Bank broke down as it arrived at its destination.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • CRESTVIEW.jpg Outreach: Churches plan to host picnic for residents of Crestview Gardens

    Volunteers from several area churches are banding together in hopes of bringing peace to a troubled neighborhood.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • money.jpg Council OKs funds to remove dead trees

    New Castle City Council has approved spending funds from its contingency account to remove some trees at Darlington Park. Marshall Tree Experts of Ellwood City has given an estimate of $12,000 to remove the large elm trees from the Mahoningtown park.


    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • 12.jpg Photo Gallery, Story: Night light

    The balloons may have been on the ground but spirits were soaring.


    July 25, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • StateFair.jpg 'State Fair' coming to Playhouse

    The fair is coming to town. No, not the Lawrence County Fair, although that is right around the corner. This is the Iowa State Fair, and it will be live on the stage of the New Castle Playhouse for three weeks, starting Friday night.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • accountant.jpg DeLorenzo’s status with authority unchanged

    Deno DeLorenzo’s status as a contract employee with the New Castle Sanitation Authority remains unchanged. Authority board members met with DeLorenzo last week regarding an investigation by the Lawrence County district attorney’s office involving Shenango Township funds.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shooting.jpg Detroit area man dies in Ellwood City gunfire

    A triple shooting in an Ellwood City street has claimed the life of a Detroit area man. Gunfire erupted in the middle of Loop Street outside the Walnut Ridge housing project around 10:20 p.m. Sunday, according to state police.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives voted to authorize Speaker John Boehner to sue President Obama for allegedly overstepping his legal authority with the way he's handled Obamacare. Good call?

Yes. Obama's been overstepping his authority since day one in office. It's time he pay the piper.
No. The allegations are ridiculous and the law suit is a waste of time and tax payer money.
I don't know. I'm not a huge fan of Obama, but the suit seems a little extreme.
     View Results