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Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf Tours Bridgeport Storm Damage As Residents Wait On Federal Disaster Declaration

BRIDGEPORT, Pa. (CBS) -- Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf got a firsthand look at some of the destruction from Ida's aftermath Wednesday. He surveyed some of the damage in Bridgeport, Montgomery County, where hundreds of people had to be rescued from flooded homes and buildings.

Now, residents are waiting to find out if federal help will come.

After touring the damage, Gov. Wolf requested that President Joe Biden declare a major disaster in Pennsylvania.

Wolf walked through the mud-stained streets of Bridgeport, where people are still cleaning up from last week's storm.

"It's awful, it's devastating. It's very sad," Wolf said.

Eyewitness News was in Bridgeport the day after the storm, capturing crews using rescue boats to get those trapped in flooded homes to safety.

"Literally, all the way down here was a river," Bridgeport resident Ca'Real Johnson said.

Rescue crews used boats to pull people from their flooded homes. Green tags now mark the homes that are inhabitable. The insides are gutted.

"It's one of those things where it's not an easy fix," Bill Smith said.

Residents tell Eyewitness News they feel lost and are searching for donations, places to live and new cars to get them to work and school.

Joan Burke is among dozens of others who waited in a long line for the doors to open at a new resource center in nearby Norristown on Wednesday.

"I hope to get some help and somewhere to live because I don't have anywhere to live," Burke said.

The resource center at West Lafayette and Cherry Streets is staffed by several organizations, like the American Red Cross.

They're working to provide temporary housing, food and more to those impacted by last week's severe flooding and tornado damage.

Residents are crossing their fingers that President Biden soon declares Pennsylvania a disaster zone.

"We anticipate that there should be a federal disaster declaration declared hopefully within the next 24 hours, and then that would release additional funding to individuals who have been displaced," Montgomery County Commissioner Dr. Val Arkoosh said.

Officials say more than 300 homes have been destroyed or heavily damaged by the storm just in Montgomery County.

Why has a federal disaster not been declared?

"You have to go through a process. We hope to have that in the next few days," Wolf said.

Federal disasters have already been declared in parts of New Jersey and New York.

In the meantime, more rain is headed their way.

"I'm over the rain," Johnson said.

"I'm very nervous about going to sleep tonight because of the rain," Laura Smith said.

Residents say they have no choice but to fight to rebuild everything that was washed away.

"I don't have a choice. I said if it was just myself I probably would've took off and just moved somewhere but I don't have a choice. I have to keep going," Brandi Altenor said.

The community is helping each other out with food, laundry and other supplies. They say they are in this together and are hoping they get the federal funding soon.

That two-day resource center in Norristown is open Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

CBS3's Matt Petrillo and Kerri Corrado contributed to this report.

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