By Wakisha Bailey

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Communities continue to clean up the damage from the remnants of Hurricane Ida. Pennsylvania is waiting on President Joe Biden to approve its request for federal disaster aid.

Although things are getting back to normal, there are still a lot of families without homes and business owners without businesses. A major question is how much longer before those impacted by Ida receive some sort of federal relief.

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Hundreds of homes were damaged, dozens of businesses destroyed, and now families are tasked with rebuilding.

“There are things they can do right now to be able to start the recovery process, we don’t want them to wait,” Randy Padfield, director of Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, said.

Padfield says help is on the way. His crews have been out surveying areas throughout the state.

In total, more than 1,200 homes have been impacted.

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Out of the southeast, Montgomery County has incurred the most damage, including 46 homes that were a complete loss and more than 260 homes with major repairs.

“People are working as fast as they can to be able to help them recover. I know it’s critical,” Padfield said.

On Wednesday, Padfield toured Bridgeport with Gov. Tom Wolf. Soon after, the governor sent a letter to the president requesting an emergency declaration. That could be approved in days.

“If they are incurring expenses right now, keep all of your receipts. If you have homeowner’s insurance or rental insurance, you should contact your insurance company to be able to figure out if there is any assistance available based on your policy,” Padfield said.

This also goes for businesses. Once the declaration is declared, businesses can reach out to small business administration for help.

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PEMA is also encouraging homeowners to reach out to their local county officials for assistance that will likely help until FEMA dollars become available.

Wakisha Bailey