Second disaster declaration for W.Va. comes from D.C.

West Virginia residents — including those in the Northern Panhandle — affected by the floods, storms and mudslides of April 11-12 now have the opportunity to apply for federal aid through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Also, a FEMA Disaster Recovery Center will be coming soon to the area.

The Biden Administration on Tuesday announced it had approved a major disaster declaration for West Virginia in Boone, Brooke, Doddridge, Gilmer, Hancock, Lincoln, Marshall, Ohio, Tyler and Wetzel counties for the storms that came through April 11-12. That was the second set of storms that damaged properties in those areas in about a two-week span.

A disaster declaration for the storms from April 2-6 was declared last week.

Public assistance federal funding is available to the state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by severe storms, flooding, landslides and mudslides, according to the federal government.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

Jeffery L. Jones has been named as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area. Jones also is the FCO for those affected by the April 2-6 storms. Additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further assessments.

The first FEMA Disaster Recovery Center in West Virginia recently opened in Charleston, at the Tyler Mountain Fire Department at 5380 Big Tyler Road in Charleston. Those affected residents can apply there for aid in person right now.

Lou Vargo, director of the Ohio County Emergency Management Agency, said a disaster recovery center will soon be up and running in Ohio County. He’ll be meeting with FEMA representatives Thursday to check out locations for the center and after that is approved and finalized, he expects an announcement from FEMA to come shortly after.

Until then, affected residents in the Northern Panhandle can apply for aid right now in a number of ways. They can apply online at DisasterAssistance.gov, as well as apply with the FEMA mobile app, which is available through both Google Play and the Apple App Store.

Residents also can call FEMA’s toll-free helpline at 800-621-3362, open 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern Time, Sunday through Saturday, with language translation available. Those who use a relay service such as video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others should provide FEMA with their number for that service when they apply.


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