Pa. National Guard troops wrapping up storm-recovery missions

    The Pennsylvania National Guard’s work in two storm-ravaged states is coming to an end, with troops expected to return home later this week.

    One big question in the wake of Hurricane Sandy is whether the commonwealth will be on the hook for its recovery expenses within the state.

    Deploying National Guard soldiers to New York and New Jersey isn’t cheap.

    Off the top of his head, the Guard’s Adjutant Gen. Wesley Craig pegs the cost at about $2.8 million.

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    But he says the commonwealth will bill New York and New Jersey for the recovery assistance.

    “When we sign these emergency management compacts, the governor of New York has to say, ‘Yes, I’m going to take these Pennsylvania troops, and I’m going to reimburse you, Pennsylvania, for their cost,'” Craig said Monday.

    Craig says in-state storm recovery has cost the Pennsylvania Guard more than $1 million.

    The commonwealth could be reimbursed for 75 percent of the expense by the federal government if the president issues a declaration of disaster.

    The state requested such a declaration but Craig says he’s not sure when to expect a decision.

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