CHARLESTON, W. Va. -- Disaster assistance for West Virginians has topped $1 million in the wake of last month's storm, landslides and flash flooding, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said today.
By the close of business Wednesday, March 15, FEMA had received 925 registrations for individual assistance from West Virginia disaster victims in 25 counties.
Checks issued for Disaster Housing Assistance Grants, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans and Individual and Family Grant Program (IFG) totaled $1,062,783.Disaster housing assistance provides grants for alternate rental housing, or emergency repairs to make a residence habitable. SBA helps people's need for long-term solutions toward housing and business problems while IFG provides grants for serious needs and necessary expenses not covered by other assistance programs.
West Virginia residents or business owners in a declared county may apply for federal and state disaster assistance by calling the toll-free registration number, 1-800-462-9029. For those with a speech or hearing impairment, the number is 1-800-462-7585. Both lines are open from 8 AM to 6 PM EDT seven days a week.
"We are pleased with the progress to date," said Justo Hernandez, FEMA's Federal Coordinating Officer for the West Virginia disaster recovery effort. "Within 17 days, more than $1 million is being disbursed to help the victims of February's flooding. And the sooner people apply, the sooner they can get financial help," he added.
Residents in 25 counties are eligible for individual assistance under President Clinton's major disaster declaration of Feb. 28.
Eligible residents living in the counties designated to date under the Presidential disaster declaration are: Barbour, Braxton, Cabell, Calhoun, Doddridge, Gilmer, Harrison, Jackson, Kanawha, Lewis, Lincoln, Marion, Mason, Monongalia, Preston, Putnam, Randolph, Ritchie, Roane, Taylor, Tucker, Tyler, Upshur, Wetzel, and Wirt.