Wise, VA -- Just one week after public assistance was authorized for the Southwest Virginia disaster-declaration area, the first infrastructure project has been approved. A $250,000 dollar project will move damaged water lines out of the floodway in Hamlin and West Dante in Russell County.
The water line relocation project will help hundreds of county residents. The existing lines had been damaged in earlier floods and again in the March 17-18 flooding. To meet immediate needs, FEMA supplied thousands of gallons of potable water to residents whose water supply had been cut off or contaminated by flood damage.
State Coordinating Officer Michael M.Cline said, "I'm pleased FEMA was able to first, meet the short-term needs of the flood victims and now, address longer term solutions to flood hazards." Federal Coordinating Officer Louis Botta added, "We're especially pleased to have an opportunity to fund a project we hope will prevent flood damage to the water lines in the future."
The Public Assistance Program provides disaster recovery assistance for state, county and local governments and certain private non-profit organizations which have sustained infrastructure damage. Public assistance may also be approved for projects including debris clearing, emergency protective measures, repair of roads and bridges, and repair or restoration of recreational facilities and parks.
Under the program, FEMA funds 75 percent of the cost of projects. The remaining 25 percent is obligated by the state.