FEMA centers to come to the area after April floods

Residents will be able to apply for funding

MOUNDSVILLE — Marshall and Ohio County residents, governments and nonprofits impacted by the April 2-6 floods will be able to apply for FEMA funding after President Biden made a disaster declaration for the state on Wednesday.

“We’re working now with the state EMA and FEMA representatives to set up a disaster recovery center somewhere in Marshall County,” said Tom Hart, director of the Marshall County Emergency Management Agency. “Once that opens, individuals will be able to come to the center and meet with FEMA.”

Hart added the center would open in the next few weeks and it is possible that it will end up being a mobile one.

“The biggest thing is to have pictures pre-event, during and post-event,” he said. “When you have great documentation that will speed the process along.

He noted if the work is already done people need to show receipts for those damages and repairs.

“I always tell people this is assistance … is not going to make anybody whole again. It’s not going to cover 100% or in most cases it does not cover 100% of expenses,” he said. “If you believe you had damage, it does not matter if it was minimal or significant, be sure to apply for assistance.”

Hart said state and federal officials would be in the county for at least 30 days and could stay 60 days depending on the number of people seeking assistance.

Hart said local governments, including the state, county and cities, and nonprofits, will also be able to apply for assistance for any damage to infrastructure and cleanup costs related to the flooding and mudslides.

“It has to be directly related to the flooding and mudslides,” he said.

Lou Vargo, director of the Wheeling-Ohio County Emergency Management Agency, said each county will have its own FEMA center and he expects Ohio County’s will be set up possibly by next week. Like Marshall County, Ohio County received all three pieces of the declaration — individuals, public and mitigation.

“Public assistance in our case is for any damages that occurred on public property, like at our water pollution control plant,” Vargo said.

He noted all counties in the state received the mitigation declaration, which means residents will be able to apply for funding to strengthen their homes to prevent damage from future disaster, he added.

Meanwhile, Vargo said FEMA officials were in Ohio County on Tuesday doing damage assessments for the second round of flooding that happened April 11.

“The state hopes to get a second declaration. We’ll keep our fingers crossed,” he said.


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