Wise, VA -- The first checks went out to victims of southwestern Virginia's devastating floods less than one week after eight counties and the city of Norton were designated eligible for federal disaster assistance. Deputy State Coordinating Officer, Harry Colestock said, "Sixteen checks totaling $28,314 have already been issued, most for home repair costs."
Through Sunday, April 7, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) had received 714 registrations for assistance. Federal Coordinating Officer Louis Botta said "The FEMA teleregistration number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) has been widely publicized and the number of registrations is expected to increase in the next few days."
Federal disaster aid was made available to help families and businesses in southwestern Virginia recover from last month's flood damage. President Bush issued a major disaster declaration on April 2 in response to a request from Virginia Governor Mark R. Warner.
The counties of Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington and Wise and the independent city of Norton were designated for Individual Assistance.
The assistance can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, emergency home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses. Aid also may include U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low interest loans for homeowners, renters, and businesses.