CHARLESTON (AP) - President Barack Obama has issued a disaster declaration to help 18 counties recover from damage caused by Superstorm Sandy.
The declaration announced Tuesday by the White House makes federal funding available to eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit groups in the counties, along with the state government. The funding will be provided on a cost-sharing basis.
Funding for hazard mitigation measures statewide also is available on a cost-sharing basis.
Counties included in the declaration are: Randolph, Barbour, Tucker, Upshur, Pendleton, Pocahontas, Boone, Braxton, Clay, Fayette, Kanawha, Lewis, Nicholas, Preston, Raleigh, Taylor, Webster and Wyoming.
Jim Wise, acting director of the Randolph County Office of Emergency Management, said Tuesday assistance for individuals is still under review.
"The funding is for public assistance such as emergency work and repair and replacement of disaster-damaged facilities," Wise said.
According to a press release from FEMA, assistance can be provided to state and affected local governments for the payment of not less than 75 percent of eligible costs for removing debris from public areas and for emergency measures including "direct federal assistance, taken to save lives and protect property and public health."
Assistance may also be provided to state and affected local governments for the payment of not more than 75 percent of the approved costs for hazard mitigation projects to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural or technological disasters, the release states.
Application procedures for state and local governments will be explained at a series of federal/state applicant briefings with locations to be announced in affected areas by recovery officials. Approved public repair projects are paid through the state from funding provided by FEMA and other participating federal agencies.