CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK)—According to the West Virginia Department of Homeland Security Emergency Management Division (WVEMD), the state has secured federal funding to help in its response to the severe weather experienced by the area this winter. The aid will be allocated for both residents and property owners.
Governor Jim Justice requested a federal disaster declaration from President Joe Biden on April 30, and it was granted on Friday, May 21. This means that Individual Assistance funding will be made available for Cabell, Kanawha, Mingo and Wayne counties, and Public assistance aid will be made available to Boone, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, Mingo, and Wayne counties.
These counties were hit with heavy rainfall in late February and March, which caused flooding, power outages and serious road conditions just as the communities were recovering from an ice storm that occurred earlier in the month.
The damage covered by Public Assistance in these counties totaled more than $5.9 million, according to Governor Justice.
The WVEMD will coordinate with FEMA to start the application process for those who were impacted by storms and flooding soon.
“We’d like to thank Gov. Justice for his support in securing these funds and the people of these counties for their courage while facing back-to-back disasters,” said WVEMD Director G.E. McCabe. “We’re overjoyed to receive this news. Knowing we have a way to help the people of these counties in their recovery efforts means so much to us here at EMD and is great news for West Virginia.”
Financial and direct services will be provided to eligible individuals and households affected by the disaster through FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program. The following may be included in this assistance: temporary housing, repair or replacement of homes, and other disaster-caused expenses.
Both state and local government entities and eligible private nonprofit organizations can receive Public Assistance, which will reimburse funding for emergency work and to repair or replace disaster-damaged facilities.
This declaration will also extend Hazard Mitigation Grant Program eligibility to all 55 West Virginia counties. These grants fund efforts to reduce or mitigate future disaster losses in their communities.
More on this declaration can be found on FEMA’s website.
Below are statements from the West Virginia Congressional Delegation on this disaster declaration approval:
“I am pleased President Biden approved the disaster declaration for the heavy rain storms at the end of February that caused flooding, landslides, and mudslides in central and southwestern West Virginia. This is welcome news and will provide much-needed support to the Mountain State and our communities impacted by the storm. Thank you to the first responders, National Guard members, local citizens and the Biden Administration for helping our communities recover and rebuild.”Sen. Joe Manchin
“The hills and valleys of West Virginia make our state incredibly susceptible to flash flooding. This damage can be devastating, leading to major destruction in our communities. I am especially thankful for the response efforts of all of our first responders and the West Virginia National Guard during the heavy rainfall in Cabell, Kanawha, Mingo, and Wayne Counties earlier this year. The approval of this declaration today will provide the federal support needed to see the necessary recovery efforts through.”Sen. Shelley Moore Capito
“The approval of this disaster declaration will provide critical resources to counties who were hit the hardest by the winter storms. I thank the Biden Administration for approving Governor Justice’s request.”Congressman David McKinley
“I am glad Governor Justice’s request for this federal disaster declaration has been approved. This federal aid will provide Boone, Cabell, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, Mingo and Wayne Counties impacted by the heavy rainstorms in late February and early March with the resources they need. I thank the first responders’ dedication to helping keep our communities secure during these extreme weather events.”Congressman Alex Mooney
“I’m happy to see the Biden Administration approve this disaster declaration to equip our state with the needed federal resources to rebuild following the severe weather that occurred earlier this year. Southern West Virginia was hit particularly hard by these storms, and I know the funds unlocked by this declaration will make a big difference in our community’s recovery.”Congresswoman Carol Miller