A day after Hurricane Sandy swept through the area with furious winds and several inches of rain, emergency management directors in Blair, Bedford, Cambria and Huntingdon counties agreed that the damage was light.
In order for the area to qualify for emergency assistance at the federal level, each county must meet a "threshold" of damage, Blair County Emergency Management Director Dan Boyles said.
The threshold depends on the county. Blair's threshold is $500,000 in public storm damage. None of the four counties are expected to reach their minimum damage limits, according to the local directors.
That is a good thing, Bedford EMA Director Dave Cubbison said.
"Bedford County really was blessed by not having a lot of damages," he said.
The assessments are coming at a very early stage in Sandy's aftermath, and there may be more damage than first believed, the EMA directors said.
One point made by the EMA experts was that flooded basements don't count when it comes to applying for possible federal aid, and if residents are able to remain in their homes, despite possible serious damage such as part of the roof being blown off, then the damage is not considered major, the emergency officials said.
Boyles estimated that more than 150 calls were received in Blair County, and 95 percent of the affected homes received only minor damage.
A trailer was totally destroyed while the roof blew off another trailer. Two other homes received major damage, Boyles said.
But because there was little flooding in Blair County, the roads and bridges were not damaged.
Blair County damage will reach only about 20 percent of the county's threshold, Boyles said.
"Our work is not over by a long shot. We are still fielding many calls," he said.
While area damage figures may be low, the four area counties did not escape the ferocity of the hurricane and storm that brought destruction to areas of New Jersey, New York and eastern Pennsylvania.
There were tense moments, however.
In Blair County, power outages reached into the thousands, causing concern for residents as temperatures dropped into the 40s and then the 30s.
Bedford County experienced a great deal of rain, the National Weather Service reporting that Schellsburg recorded 7.94 inches, second only to Hanover, York County, which received 8.15 inches.
There was concern that water may innundate Hyndman.
An evacuation occurred but no water entered the borough, Cubbison said as he praised the preparation and cooperation of the residents who already had a plan in place in case it was needed.
The residents followed the plan "perfectly," Cubbison. said.
Snow fell in parts of Cambria County, but it never approached the massive snows that hammered West Virginia, Maryland and other states.
Two to 3 inches fell in Richland Township, Cambria County Emergency Services Executive Director Ron Springer said.
Only flurries were reported in other areas of the county.
Springer said no streams left their banks, and PennDOT reported very little damage to the roads.
Forty-three people went to a shelter at the Rutter Center in Mount Union, Huntingdon County Emergency Management Director Adam Miller. Other residents possibly left their homes for a time, staying with relatives.
Mirror Staff Writer Phil Ray is at 946-7468.