Sens. Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin, along with Congressman Nick Rahall, applauded the Federal Emergency Management Agency for granting 16 additional West Virginia counties individual assistance for property owners affected by a severe June 29 "derecho" storm earlier this summer.
After FEMA's September decision providing Individual Assistance to four West Virginia counties, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin requested FEMA expand assistance to additional counties. FEMA approved the counties of Pocahontas, Cabell, Clay, Greenbrier, Jackson, Lincoln, Mason, McDowell, Mercer, Mingo, Monroe, Roane, Tyler, Webster and Wood.
FEMA previously approved federal assistance to the state and individual assistance to Fayette, Kanawha, Nicholas and Raleigh counties because of the June "derecho."
Rockefeller, Manchin and Rahall wrote letters to the President supporting Tomblin's request for additional counties to receive assistance.
FEMA previously approved disaster assistance for state and local governments to rebuild community infrastructure and individual assistance to Fayette, Kanawha, Nicholas and Raleigh Counties. With Individual Assistance, West Virginians may be eligible for housing assistance to repair heavily damaged or destroyed homes, as well as other expenses related to cleaning and the loss and replacement of personal property.
"The derecho that hit West Virginia in June caused widespread damage spanning a large part of the state. I am glad FEMA is working to grant assistance to other counties," Rockefeller said. "After taking another look, FEMA recognized the devastation this storm caused families from North Central all the way down to southern West Virginia. This declaration can help so many West Virginians rebuild and move forward."
"The June storms that swept through our state were simply devastating to our families and communities, and this expansion of individual assistance is so vital to their recovery," Manchin said. "I witnessed firsthand the tragic impact of the storm's aftermath on individuals and business owners who lost power, wages, inventory and medicine to say nothing of the serious property damage inflicted on homes and businesses. FEMA's decision to expand individual assistance to an additional 16 counties will truly help countless West Virginia families who are still struggling with the cost of rebuilding in the aftermath of the storm."