WV flooding committee reviews disaster aid

West Virginia
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The state’s Director of Homeland Secuity and the head of the West Virginia National Guard, testified before the Joint Committee on Flooding. A lot of it focused on why some families are still struggling for help after the 2016 floods. Junior Naylor of Clendenin was in the audience.  Naylor brought along a signed contract regarding his flooded out home that was eventually torn down, on the promise he’d be paid 157-thousand dollars. He’s not reveived a dime.   

“I hoping that there’s still money to be paid to us so we can get on with our life. Nobody wants to have to go back to work or be in debt the rest of their life. So hopefully they can find a way to help us out. Hoping,” said Junior Naylor, a 2016 Elk River flood victim.

Officials described a complicated federal disaster system, that takes time and has a lot of red tape.

“There may be a period of time before we start seeing additional drawdown of funds because it has to go up to FEMA Region 3, go through a process of approval, and then come back to us,” said Maj. Gen. Jim Hoyer, West Virginia National Guard.

General Hoyer said additional staffing has been hired and hopefully that will speed up the process. Other flood vicitms in the audience wondered why neighbors were paid more than they were.

“My home was destroyed there, torn down, nothing left. But the big question I got, everyone got $30 to $32,000. I got $16,000” said Billy Woods, a 2016 Elk River flood victim.

The flood committee promised to look into concerns raised, and will hold another hearing in June.

“Of course these hearings are not just about the 2016 floods. West Virginia is one of the most flood prone states in the nation and officials here want a faster response, the next time disaster strikes,” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.

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