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Report: Gov. Justice appoints Mark Sorsaia as Secretary of Dept. of Homeland Security

Justice secures federal disaster declaration for WV


Aug. 19, 2017

Justice secures federal disaster declaration for W.Va.


CHARLESTON, W.Va. – President Donald J. Trump has granted a request from Governor Jim Justice and issued a disaster declaration to help areas of West Virginia hit by the July 28-29 severe storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides.

 The declaration approves federal assistance to affected individuals and households in Harrison, Marion, Marshall, and Wetzel counties. It also provides public assistance to those counties as well as Doddridge, Monongalia, Ohio, Preston, Randolph, Taylor, Tucker and Tyler counties.

 Public assistance is for state and local government entities as well as eligible private nonprofit organizations, and offers funding for emergency work and to repair or replace disaster-damaged public facilities.

 Individual assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals, households and businesses recover.

 The president’s declaration further provides cost-sharing assistance statewide through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, to support efforts that prevent or reduce long-term risks from such natural hazards.

 “I am grateful to the president for his action on behalf of our fellow West Virginians who are hurting after this disaster,” Governor Justice said. “I look forward to working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help our affected families and businesses get back on their feet.”

 Governor Justice requested the major disaster declaration on Aug. 10, after joint state-FEMA damage assessment teams in the four most severely hit counties identified 161 homes destroyed or seriously damaged and another 557 with minor damage or otherwise affected.

 Governor Justice had proclaimed a State of Emergency on July 29 for Harrison, Marion, Marshall, Monongalia, Ohio, Taylor, Tucker and Wetzel counties. He expanded that declaration on Aug. 7 to include Doddridge, Preston and Randolph counties.

 The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, which is part of the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, will continue to coordinate with FEMA and other federal officials for the delivery of the approved disaster assistance.

 “The governor’s efforts to quickly request assistance from the president will allow the state and FEMA to provide much-needed assistance to survivors in the declared counties,” Division of Homeland Security Emergency Management Director Jimmy Gianato said. “I urge individuals to immediately register with FEMA so that they can begin getting assistance. We thank our FEMA counterparts for their hard work in assisting the state.”

 Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in the designated area can begin applying for assistance Aug. 19 by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). 

 Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362.

 The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.

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LAWRENCE MESSINA (304) 558-2930 Lawrence.C.Messina@wv.gov