West Virginia communities want faster disaster aid

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February 07 2021 06:00 pm

CLENDENIN, W. Va. (WOWK) Volunteers are still hard at work rebuilding Clendenin and other West Virginia communities following the disastrous floods three years ago. Hundreds of homes still need repairs and Clendenin is trying to rebuild for other critical needs with the promised federal aid. The state, however, has yet to disperse all that money.

“Well we lost 18 units of senior housing and what we’re looking at now is replacing the ten apartments that were upstairs. And like I say, we’re waiting on the RISE money to be released to get that accomplished,” said Clendenin Councilman David Knight.

During this week’s Special Session of the Legislature, the Joint Committee on Flooding met again, with the hopes of speeding up the distribution of that federal money for housing repairs and replacements.

“Well, I hope we’ve lit a fire under them at this point, whether we actually get these houses built and get people into a permanent home, and not have to wait until January. So hopefully we see some progress in the next month or two months,” said Del. Andrew Robinson, (D-Kanawha).

The state RISE program currently has about 400 homes under contract for renovation or replacement.

Lawmakers are talking about a bill here that would speed up disaster aid for future floods, but that bill will likely not be considered until the January Legislative Session.

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