CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — A federal investigation is underway into how disaster aid was handled after the devastating 2016 floods in West Virginia.
The state of West Virginia received nearly $150 million in flood relief money. $6.8 million was earmarked for demolishing homes and other property that was too damaged to repair.
One demolition project was recently halted for no apparent reason and State Senate Minority Leader Steven Baldwin (D-Greenbrier) became suspicious. A commerce department official revealed in a flood committee meeting, that there was a federal inquiry into the spending and accounting of demolition funds.
“I cannot imagine that there has been mishandling at the Commerce level. And I can positively guarantee you there’s no mishandling from the standpoint with my people that are around me, or myself,” said Gov. Jim Justice, (R-WV).
The governor says if any employee is found to have done anything wrong, they will be held accountable.
The RISE West Virginia flood relief program was moved from the National Guard, back to the Commerce Department earlier this year. RISE officials now say that 90 percent of housing projects and 78 percent of bridge projects have been completed.